The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

March 4, 2013

Other Views: Shorter sessions bad idea

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Good government is not dependent on a time element. State Sen. John Lamping, R-Ladue, wants to trim the legislative session from 18 weeks to 12.

Why?

“The idea I had,” Lamping said, “essentially, had most to do with just being more productive. Not wasting time, but making the best of the time that you have here.”

Many jobs, including journalism, have deadlines, which means doing the best job possible in the allotted time.

Reducing the amount of time, however, does not necessarily translate into a better product.

Missouri voters in 1988 changed the constitution to establish the regular legislative session from early January to the second full week in May each year, followed by a veto session in the second week of September.

Lamping’s proposed amendment to the constitution would establish the end of March as the conclusion of the regular session and move the veto session to June.

Is time wasted during the 18-week duration of the regular session?

Of course.

The legislative process is complicated, sometimes convoluted.

Bill are introduced; committees established; information studied; hearings held; issues debated; amendments offered; votes taken; proposals advanced; conference committees formed; compromises sought.

Even under optimum conditions, the process involves lulls in the action — lulls that may be advantageous for gathering more information, hearing additional arguments or simply easing intensity.

Recently, we cautioned lawmakers to avoid haste and to research issues thoroughly to avoid unintended consequences.

We see no advantage to shortening the legislative session.

Good government depends on the quality of leadership and representation, not the quantity of time spent.

The Jefferson City News Tribune

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Opinion
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  • Your View: ‘Right to Farm’ is wrong

    On Aug. 5, voters will be asked to make a decision about Amendment 1.

    July 29, 2014

  • Your View: No on Amendment 7

    The Missouri Department of Transportation is wanting more money through a three-quarter-cent addition to the sales tax. Consider one example of how it spends your money.

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  • Your View: Bad way to get revenue

    I received two fliers through the mail today asking me to vote “yes” on Amendment 7, which would add a three-quarter-cent tax to Missouri’s sales tax to help maintain roads and bridges.

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  • Rebecca French Smith, guest columnist: Amendment 1: Farmers are 'boots on the ground'

    Take a moment and ask yourself who was the last person in your family to farm.

    July 28, 2014

  • Your View; Makes no sense

    Chess was never my game. It’s too complicated.

    July 28, 2014

  • Your View: Time value of money

     I was shaking my head along with Anson Burlingame (“Much has changed in U.S. over 14 years,” Globe, July 22), then he offered his readers a chance: “Go ahead — take your pick.”

    July 28, 2014

  • Your View: Boiling a frog

    We voters are now being urged to vote on Aug. 5 for Amendment 7 “to fix our roads, highways and bridges.”

    July 28, 2014

  • Our view: 'Yes' on 7

    Opponents of Amendment 7 say this: “Missouri families are already hard pressed to pay their bills during this period of slow economic recovery.”

    July 26, 2014

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