The Musings of

Something full of magic, religion, bullsh*t.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Man is the only animal that laughs and has a state legislature.

I got into a discussion yesterday with one of my co-workers regarding the length of state legislative sessions. He wanted to know if most other states had a biennial session like Texas. (In Texas, the legislature meets for regular session only once every two years). I explained to him that only a handful of states follow that course, and that most have yearly sessions with some like New York having a full-time legislature. My co-worker stated that he was glad that Texas has biennial session and a biennial budget, because in annual session/budget states legislators are constantly passing new laws and increasing the yearly budgets. In Texas, however, once the budget is set, a special session has to be called to alter in over the next two years.

I really don't know if this is true. The famous quote -- which I've seen attributed to Mark Twain, Judge Gideon J. Tucker, and Ben Franklin -- is that "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." If such is true, then it would hold that the less time the legislature is in session, the less laws it passes, which is a good thing. By my co-worker's logic, then, limited sessions prevent bad laws and superfluous legislation.

That said, it appears that there is anecdotal evidence that this isn't true. I guess some folks ruined it for the rest of us.
Centinel 8:25 AM #


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