Change legislative system
A needless drain on our state budget is the state legislative system. We have two legislative chambers, the Senate and the House. Both submit bills. Getting both chambers to pass a bill is next to impossible, resulting in special sessions and cost overruns. At the national level we need both chambers. At the state level we do not.
Why not a unicameral system? A unicameral system consists of but one legislative chamber.
Requiring two chambers to pass a bill (for checks and balances) is a fallacy of politicians. Bills passed by one chamber are no more flawed than bills passed by two. It should be a nonpartisan Legislature. The candidate’s party should not be listed on the ballot. Chamber members, established by density of population districts, should be elected to four-year terms, with elections held at two-year intervals, or six-year terms, with elections held at three year intervals.
They would pass bills in accordance with the needs of their constituents. The majority rules. Isn’t that the way it is supposed to work? There would be no special sessions. The efficiency and cost savings are obvious.
Nebraska has a nonpartisan Legislature and has used the unicameral system for 70 some years. Their last bicameral session in 1935 ran 110 days, passed 192 bills and cost $202,593. Their first unicameral session two years later ran 98 days, passed 214 bills and cost $103,445.
For more information see “history of the Nebraska unicameral.”
CAMERON CARLSON, Lacey
Don't pay attention to Sarah Palin
It is a sad state of affairs when a newspaper has nothing better to publish than a letter from a Sarah-sycophant quoting Sarah Palin incoherently quoting herself.
Ray Ensley’s letter exemplifies the mindless reiteration of disjointed ranting that is typical of Palin’s groupies. Those of us who passed fifth-grade English recognize that Palin lacks the most basic writing skills and is unable to correctly use grammar, punctuation or logic to express a complete thought.
Surely Ensley cannot possibly think that the person who requires FIVE sets of ellipses in a single sentence can have anything meaningful to say. To repeat her illogical and unfounded accusations, and then pretend that this mumbo- jumbo has any degree of profundity demonstrates the delusional and disordered thinking of her supporters.
In fact, I would bet “hundreds of billions of dollars” that Ensley and Palin are unable to define a “hundred billion” or state how many zeros are indicated for that magnitude.
Here are the answers to Ensley’s questions:
1. Why weren’t we paying attention?
Because we should not pay attention to people who are ignorant and arrogant, no matter how loudly and rudely they speak out. Sarah Palin’s mangled language is indicative of her thought processes. It is counterproductive to pay attention to her babbling idiocies when there are real problems to be solved.
2. Is Sarah Palin a psychic?
No, she is a psycho. She is not prophetic, she is pathetic. Rational people recognize the difference.
ELNA BENOIT, Olympia
Legislator is out of touch
It has become clear that state employees are again considered an easy budget target; they have no real voice. Sen. Joseph Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, appears to be out of touch with state workers and what has been sacrificed so far in this recession.
Democrats are made to look bad to improve Republican chances for wins for the next election. Remember, they are always running for reelection.
He seems to forget he gets paid from the state coffers, too, with no reduction and routine increases in his pay since 1996. Has he suffered the huge increases in food prices, utilities, property taxes and other essentials of living since the recession began?
Also let it be known that after the step-increases for state employees, they stop after six years, then nothing. This is uncommon in the private sector and at legislative levels. He will get raises from the board that routinely votes yes for them.
My health plan took a huge round of buckshot this year. I now get choices between seeing the doctor and refilling my medications.
Can Zarelli recall when his job was new and it required a steep learning curve? To become proficient and to provide the knowledge and customer- service our public expects and deserves takes time. It is like full-time school and working.
As I walk by the maze of empty cubicles, I am thankful to be chosen to work for our citizens.
Why not fully fund the state auditor to find truly meaningful cuts?
ANNE OVERBY, Olympia