Since the advent of term limits in our legislature, our Senators and Representatives have played Jump to the Other House. Termed out of the Senate? Run for the House. That time runs out? Back to the other house. And so we still have a permanent class of state legislators, cooking up all kinds of good things to inflict on us.
Since that hasn’t worked as planned, how about a different kind of limit? How about a limit on the number of bills a state senator or rep can sponsor each session?
Right now, we have almost 1,000 bills introduced, which averages about 10 bills per guy or gal. And we’ve seen the dreck that shows up each year: the no-leash-required-on-dog bill, the teachers-can-swear-in-class-if-they-follow-FCC guidelines farce, the don’t-be-partisan-or-you’ll-be-fired history and literature censorship joke. And that’s just from one legislator, the pistol-packin’ state senator Lori Klein, pride of Anthem.
Twenty-one states have some kind of limit, including Arizona. Sort of. In the House, which puts a limit on introduction once the session begins, but puts no restrictions on the number filed before a session.
So let’s do this: Let’s have a law that limits our state legislators to five bills per session, which would cut this year’s average in half. And get rid of the fluff and stuff that shows up all too often. Our senators and reps would have to really consider their priorities. And it might shorten the sessions. And it might save taxpayers money.
Think the legislators would pass that bill? Yeah, me neither.
Azcvoices.com is a network of community bloggers created by The Arizona Republic, azcentral.com and 12 News to highlight diverse viewpoints. Members' opinions do not represent the views of Republic Media.
Bio: Mike McClellan has lived in Arizona since 1967 where he attended high school and the University of Arizona. McClellan taught high school English for 36 years, including 30 years at at Dobson High School in Mesa. He has been a contributing columnist to both the East Valley Republic editions and the East Valley Tribune.