Listening to legislators Becky Nutt and Drew John relate their first-year experiences at the State Capitol offered an insight on what’s wrong with our government in Phoenix.
At one point during his presentation, Rep. Drew John, R-Safford, apologized to constituents who didn’t hear from him during the session. He told those attending the luncheon that he was busy keeping track of all the new bills being presented.
“You can’t really take your eye off the ball,” he told constituents.
That prompted one attendee to retort that he favors a system where politicians introduce fewer bills.
We enthusiastically agree.
A look at the numbers clarifies the colossal waste of time happening in Phoenix. This session, which John characterized as having fewer bills than most, our state legislators introduced 1,180 bills, of which 395 became law. Last year, lawmakers passed 388 bills, which is about 30 percent of the 1,247 bills introduced during the 2016 session.
If we average the number of bills by the total number of days state legislators are in session, it further illustrates the problem. When lawmakers left Phoenix after the “sine die” on May 10, it ended 122 days at the Capitol, which generates an average of 10 new bills every day during the session. It’s doubtful there’s enough time each day to read, let alone properly consider, 10 bills a day.
We need a better process.
Instead of making it a simple procedure to draft a bill, we need a process that requires more vetting and more legislative support before the bill is introduced. We…
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