Legi-slay-tion - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

July 20, 2009

Legi-slay-tion

The state legislature, the part-time body that convened this year between January 21 and May 8, set a new record last week by overriding 38 bills vetoed by the governor.  That is probably not a record that one ordinarily looks to set, though I am sure the Democratic-controlled House and Senate took no small measure of delight in overriding two-thirds of the 57 vetoes issued by the Republican governor.

The reason I point out the short window in which the legislature meets is to ask if we are operating a thorough and efficient system, where a full-time state is served by a part-time group of legislators who cram with their homework over 109-days in making decisions that will last a lifetime, or at least another year.  Ah yes, another year; this is what normally happens when political stasis occurs, legislators simply say "we'll take a look at that again next year".  Legislators fight hardest to get re-elected, so they can live to play another day in another session and keep earning a living.

We are at a huge crossroad as a state, as a nation.  We need fresh ideas and some re-thinking of accepted policies to help ease us out of some of this economic bind that we are in.  To be fair, there is no doubt that many legislators truly put their hearts and souls into their jobs; some may actually see the need for change but fear that it might not be too popular- i.e., disgruntled, status quo compatriots and voters might cost them their jobs next time around.  But maybe that's what we need.  Think about it...

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