Sunday, July 15, 2007

15,670 is an awful lot of bills

The number of bills introduced in the Legislature this year, according to the Journal News, was 15,670. We can't say we're surprised, though this is a truly astounding number. Assemblywoman Galef, who has introduced legislation that would limit the number of bills any legislator could introduce to 100 makes the case for why this is a problem:

- There are too many bills for lawmakers, legislative committees and staff to effectively analyze and debate each session.

- Members introduce bills similar or identical to legislation already pending, rather than seeking to collaborate with colleagues.

- Some are "dead-end" bills introduced only to score political points with constituencies.

We'd argue for even fewer than 100, but we applaud Assemblymember Galef for making the case for this important issue.

Bruno and Silver are quoted in the Journal News as opposing Galef's measure, noting that most states don't have these kinds of restrictions. But at least 20 chambers do -- including chambers in California and Florida. More to the point, there isn't a single state where so many bills are introduced every year, and almost none where such a small percentage introduced are actually passed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If the number of bills are limited, that will give legislative leaders more power to act as gatekeepers regarding which bills are considered. To paraphrase H.L. Mencken, for every problem, there's a solution that's simple, neat -- and wrong.