Friday, February 23, 2007

What good are annual sessions if you can't accomplish anything?

Those of us who believed the old saying that Kentucky would be better off if the General Assembly met for two days every 60 years instead of 60 days every two years formed the core of opposition for the constitutional amendment authorizing annual legislative sessions.

However, annual session supporters successfully made the argument that in this day and age of rapidly changing technological advances and other things that might require action, the legislative needed to regularly meet more than biannually.

It turns out that this time, there are some key priorities that the legislature needs to act on in order to move Kentucky forward. However, since this is also a gubernatorial election year and the incumbent governor faces challenges from both Republicans and Democrats, legislators are sitting on their hands and passing a whole lot of feel-good bills (such as the minimum wage increase) but doing nothing to meet the state's true needs.

The "Boni Bill" is a prime example. Despite the tragedy of the social worker's death, the GA has not properly responded to the governor's legislative proposal to increase safety for social workers. House Speaker Jody Richards, himself a gubernatorial candidate, accuses Gov. Fletcher of playing politics with the situation (when in reality Richards is the one guilty of that behavior) and echoes the sentiments that the biennial budget was passed last year and the legislature shouldn't revisit the budget this year.

Another good example is the Horse Park project. The eyes of the equestrian world -- indeed, the world in general -- will be on the Commonwealth in three years when the FEI World Equestrian Games come to Lexington. This is the Olympics of the horse world and the clock is ticking on the state's preparations for the event. There is a pressing need for capital improvements at the Horse Park and these projects need to get started immediately.

Yet the legislature is dragging its feet on approving the funding package requested by the Fletcher administration. Some have even said that these proposals can wait until next year.

If we are going to pay these 138 men and women to conduct public business in February of odd-numbered years, then they need to get off their rumps and do something. They need to get a move on and approve projects that will work for the betterment of the Commonwealth.

Otherwise they're just wasting tax dollars and inadvertently proving the point that annual sessions are a waste of time and money.


At 8:14 PM, March 11, 2007, Blogger KYJurisDoctor said...

BINGO to your caption.


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