According to the papers, the Indiana State Legislature is back in session. This is neither good nor ill, just what was reported. Apparently they are only going to palaver for 30 days this go-around. This is a case of shorter being gooder and less likely to be iller.
The State Legislature getting together is a bit more worrisome than when the feds meet. The U.S. Congress, generally speaking, doesn't actually get a whole lot done which immediately or directly affects Brazil. Those state guys, though, can do a lot of good or ill in a really short period of time. What they do controls what the county, city, and school boards can do, how they have to do it, and why they can't raise the money needed to do those things.
So, in our mailboxes comes two politely worded requests for my opinion on what the legislature ought to be doing. One comes from a man I've always respected, State Senator Richard Bray. The second comes from my House Representative Nancy Michael.
Included in each mailing is a survey. Actually going to meetings (which we are often reminded good citizenship demands) is not something I'm real good at. So I try to make up for it by faithfully completing these surveys and returning them ASAP. I do this in spite of a firm conviction no one is ever influenced by these surveys. A belief enforced by years of political observation and boiler-plate responses received.
As Kay and I complete our surveys, a couple of questions come to mind: Why can't they save some money by just sending one? And, how come the questions asked on each survey cover such different topics -- do the two branches not work on the same problems?
Anyhow, thought it'd be a good time to create a survey of my own, and see if either Rich or Nancy responds.
Q. Couldn't Hoosiers get along with just one legislative "house?" Several states do it; and, with only 30 days to work with, can't we all just get along?
[ ] Sorry, makes too much sense
[ ] Goes against tradition, therefore politically impossible
[ ] There'd be nothing to talk about between New Years and High School Sectionals
Q. How about if every Representative and Senator was limited to introducing one new Bill -- in their lifetime? If we just kept sending the same bunch back, sooner or later there would be no one left to introduce anything.
[ ] After introducing a Bill to help themselves, who'd run for re-election?
[ ] But for the barrage of paper, people might know the legislature wasn't needed
[ ] Have to justify those surveys somehow
Q. What if we eliminated two laws for each new one passed?
[ ] Not even God really knows how many laws we have now
[ ] A lot of "sacred," but admittedly stupid, laws would be lost
[ ] At some point we'd be down to just the original 10
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.