"A frequent reference to fundamental
principles is absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of Liberty
and keep a Government free."
As we come to the close of the year, activities in the legislature have begun to slow down. Our formal sessions last from January to June but our work continues for the rest of the year.
Many bills are either long or complicated or both and require more time to complete than the allotted six months. These bills are retained by the committees for study and protracted hearings during the last half of the year and will be recommended to the full House for disposition in early January. Other bills that have been passed have within them recommendations for study. Study committees were formed and have filed recommendations for new legislation in 2012.
As we have discussed before, the House has 400 members which means that every member is assigned to at least one committee. Some members are assigned to two committees and some are assigned to three or four. For various reasons the Speaker has selected me to be on not one or two but five committees. These committees have all been working during the "off season" of July through December. The last of my committees finally finished its work this week. We now get a couple of weeks off before we start all over again in January with a new set of bills to be introduced.
There are many freshmen in the House this year since the Republican Party rose from being in the minority in 2009-2010 to being a nearly 75% majority in this biennium. I must say that most of these new folks have certainly carried their weight and "earned their stripes". They have worked diligently to cut the costs of government and have done so by sticking with their fundamental principles of smaller government with lower spending.
This legislature has also been a group that has shown more understanding, consideration and respect for our constitutions, both federal and state, than I remember from the past. They have repeatedly asked the important questions – Is it necessary? Is it right? Is it constitutional? And how well are we spending the people’s money?
As a result we are satisfied that we have responded properly to the electorate’s reason for voting us into office. We closed the hole created by the cessation of federal stimulus money and reduced the size and scope of government in the last two years.
Call us Tea Partiers, Free Staters, or Libertarians but we did what we were elected to do. We reduced the spending by 11% from the previous budget. As Jefferson said, "The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases."
On a sad note, I must report that one of our local members, Rep. Sean Cox, passed away on Friday night, December 9. He was 40 years old and leaves a wife of 17 years and two young sons. He was a respected Member of the House and will be missed by us all.
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Contact: ken.s+sunacom.com (replace "+" with "@")