Sunday, January 2, 2011

Texas one of only four states that meets only every two years

Laredo's own Richard Raymond wants to change the Texas constituion to require our state legistlature to meet every year instead of every two years. Of the 50 states, only Texas, Montana, Nevada and North Dakota still meet bi-anually. The Texas Tribune recently reported on this developing story:

“It’s just something that doesn’t work well,” said State Representative Richard Peña Raymond, Democrat of Laredo, who wants to change the state’s Constitution to force the Legislature to meet yearly. If biennial budgeting was a good idea, Mr. Raymond added, “other governments would be doing it — cities, counties, schools. And they don’t.”
Last session, Mr. Raymond introduced legislation to add a session in even-numbered years dedicated to the budget, lasting up to 60 days, or 90 if a majority of lawmakers approve. He said he thought the recession might spur action. But after billions of dollars in federal stimulus money got marked for Texas in 2009, Mr. Raymond said, lawmakers quickly lost interest in the idea. Even if the Legislature passed Mr. Raymond’s proposal, which he has already reintroduced for the coming session, the change would then need to be approved by Texas voters.
Gov. Rick Perry, who has made small government a theme of his tenure, would oppose any move to annual legislatures, said Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman. “We need to be focused on how to limit government in people’s lives,” Ms. Frazier said, “not create more of it.”

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