Monday, April 28, 2014

 

Senate/House jointly shortchange public notice on conference committees today


by Larry Geller

I received a tip from an astute Disappeared News reader that once again, public be damned, the Legislature is just going to bend or break its own rules and leave us in the dust. Hat tip to the reader for the alert.

Four bills, HB1745, HB1796, HB2257, and HB2626 are scheduled for a 4 p.m. conference committee, but notice was apparently given at about 1 p.m.

The pdf of the notice has an incorrect internal date stamp. The document is interesting in that it sets out the rules for conduct of the conference committees, and is signed by both the Senate President Donna Mercado Kim and the Speaker of the House Joseph M. Souki and dated by them 4/28/2014 (today).

Now, the real work of the conference committees actually take place behind closed doors. Conference committee time is when democracy ceases to exist at our state legislature. But at least they could give the public the required notice in case people want to show their faces and grunt their opinions when the results are announced for each bill.

The first three bills are education bills and the last is a manufacturing tax credit that for some reason we taxpayers could be forced to support. Any tax credit means the funds will have to be made up someplace. I am not sure the public should be given short notice on a bill that will impact their wallet and benefit private interests.



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