06 May 2009

All Over But The Vetoes

The Colorado General Assembly's work for the 2009 session is over. I haven't yet dug through the last minute results to see what did or didn't pass. The Governor may still, however, veto bills passed at the end of the session (including line item veto power over the budget). Also, if the economy deteriorates sufficiently to make the state budget unworkable in a way which could be assisted by legislation, a special session could be called to seek further legislative input on dealing with budget shortfall, before the legislature reconvenes in January 2010.

For the record, I oppose the practice of limiting the legislative session to 120 days. It reduces public input by all but the most organized members of the public into the process, and reduces the power of the legislative branch to deviate from the agenda set when bills are introduces in the first few days of the session.

Also, in this non-agricultural era, it is impossible for practical purposes to have a true citizen legislature even with four month legislative session. Few people can hold down ordinary jobs will taking off 120 days a year, even if legislative pay rivals four months of day job income. Almost all jobs are designed to require work all year. There is also a great deal that general assembly members do in the "off season." Constituent concerns, for example, must be addressed all year long, and bill drafting takes place mostly in the fall.

1 comment:

Dave Barnes said...

I would shorten the legislative session to 10 hours.
Less time = less damage.
Every other year as in Texas.