Think About It: Unicameral Logic - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

February 22, 2018

Think About It: Unicameral Logic

A local media friend of mine was having a conversation with a state legislator about a proposed bill being pushed through a committee the said legislator served on that would affect the local broadcasting community and some of its local responsibilities. My friend questioned why such a bill was written without any input from the federally-regulated broadcasters. The legislator responded by saying, "oh, and I suppose that if we put forth a bill affecting the elderly we would have to check in with AARP first?!" Well, yeh, that might be a good entity to check in with, just to run it by a stakeholder or two or 200,000.

In the rush to hustle through our local and perhaps too brief legislative session, sometimes bills come up that will affect constituents who aren't even involved in crafting or commenting on said bills until they reach the floor. Time and effort could be saved by discussing potential edicts months in advance. Right now, only 10% of crafted bills make it all the way through here each year. Voters must be shown that their legislators care, so a bundle of bills is sent forward, only to die in a committee or when crossing over to the House or Senate or when evaluated.

Perhaps a single legislative body that works full time could help end this incessant rush to jam things through in short order every January and February. A unicameral, one legislative body system has been in place in Nebraska for over 80 years, and it is legally non-partisan. With one full-time legislative body, you could pay higher salaries, hire more assistants, and probably get more work done with forethought and input more regularly. Certainly it's worth talking about in a small state like ours. The odds? Ok, good talk. Thanks. Think about it…

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