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PENDER – Exploring Rep. Hank...

PENDER – Exploring Rep. Hank Zuber’s bill to make legislative sessions every other year

By: Magnolia Tribune - February 4, 2014

What if sessions weren’t annual?

Every year about this time, as the state Legislature starts arguing over where to require “In God We Trust” be displayed, deer baiting, Big Gulps or outlawing numerous things that don’t really exist, Rep. Hank Zuber’s legislation starts looking mighty good.

For years, he has proposed a constitutional amendment for the Legislature to meet only every other year — at least on general bills — instead of annually.

It could save money, reducing the nearly $30 million a year taxpayers spend on the Legislature. It could allow the Legislature to spend more time on big issues — education, health care, spending — and less time debating whether to allow caning of prisoners, prohibit restaurants serving fat people or change the length of raccoon-hunting season.

Zuber’s proposal has always died from inattention in committee. But people bring it up in conversation around the Capitol from time to time, and the response is often, “That’s a good idea.”

This year, House Constitution Chairman Scott DeLano, R-Biloxi, said he plans to hold a hearing on the issue and wants to start serious discussion and study about making changes, although probably years down the road.

Geoff Pender
Clarion Ledger

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This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.