OUR VIEW: Time to restructure Legislature’s calendar

By Daily News • Last Updated 9:34 am on Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Considerable time, energy and money is being spent by various narrowly-defined groups attempting to rewrite our state’s constitution.

Their highly-financed and sometimes misleading campaigns threaten to paralyze future legislative reforms by locking their specific wishes into the constitution.  Meanwhile, our full-time legislature is apparently proceeding with a part-time work schedule.

Political Columnist Tim Skubick commented last week about Michigan’s legislative calendar for the rest of the year; pointing out that legislators plan to be in Lansing about 22 days. It isn’t yet September.

To be sure, there are legitimate reasons for legislators to be working at home in their districts and consulting with their constituents.

Of course, for them, that includes both personal business and advance planning for the next political office.

The gripe we have is these elected officials are not completing the work for which we hired them; hence the burgeoning number of ballot proposals being offered up by special interests determined to run the state via statewide elections.

No wonder our legislators have so little clout with unelected state agency bureaucrats.

Because several critical concerns in our state operations could well be determined by popular vote this fall, is it not time to consider requiring all state government officeholders and candidates to defend their calendar ideas?

The Texas legislature is in session every other year, usually for about five months.

If Texas can do it, can we? Should we?

Editorial columns are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.

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