Thursday, October 05, 2006

Part time Legislators

Every second week of the new year, the Arizona State Legislature convenes for its yearly legislative session. A 100 to 150 day period of bills, bills and more ills, bills debated in committee, bills in the house, bills in the senate, everywhere bills. In that 4 to 5 month period, the legislature considers 1000+ bills, ranging from minute changes to the statues, to the state budget. In 100 days.

Arizona's "MPs" are considered part- timers they earn very little ($24,000 a year), and spend only 100 days in the State capitol, the rest of the time is spent on personal business and constituent work. Ours earn way more ($83,000), but spend about the same amount of time in session (with many "recesses"); pass less than 20 bills, keep operating personal business, and pay scant attention to constituents.

Now, it's true that there are differences between the parliamentary and American system, as well as, State vs. National issues. But come on!!!!!!

Obviously advocating for a part-time parliament (which ours technically is) would not go anywhere, but the system needs some change. For instance, parliament should consider a high impact, focused "legislative session", a couple of days/months in a year set aside solely for legislation. No two, three month recesses in between, just a straight forward policy wonk fest.

This would focus the minds of the legislators and the people on solving societal issues and not on empty politicking. Seriously, a bill passed by only 12 folks??? this is shamefull, things need to change.


Blogger Gathara said...

Our MPs are taking a tax-free ride on the national gravy train at our expense.

1:01 AM  
Blogger Githush said...

Here here Gathara. I concur. It's a rather shameful situation.

12:46 AM  
Blogger Gathara said...

As a proportion of GDP, Kenyan MPs earn 3 times the salaries of legislators in Uganda, the Dominican Republic and Bolivia, 23 times more than their counterparts in Mexico, 37 times more than the Canadians, 55 times what UK MPs get, 77 times the French and Germans, 100 times the Spanish and a whopping 243 times what congressmen and senators in the US take home.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Githush said...

Numbers always have a way of putting things in stark reality. Thanks for the figures. How did you come about them???

5:06 PM  
Blogger Gathara said...

The magic of google aided by a calculator.

3:54 AM  

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