Title-only bills are necessary
After reading the recent editorial, “A bad example of legislative transparency,” I felt the need to clarify a few assumptions.
Every year, lawmakers propose title-only bills with titles and initially, little or no content. Members on both sides of the aisle do it as a means of preserving maximum flexibility for the development of policy responses to the urgent events of the day within the constraints of the tight legislative schedule. It is a time-honored practice that allows for bills to be introduced when time and Senate cutoffs are an issue, then fleshed out along the way.
While contemplating how the Legislature might address the $2.8 billion budget gap, I realized the time was right to shed light on the treatment of dozens of deplorable tax preferences that have been embedded over the years in the state tax code.
I introduced Senate Bill 6853, to address the long-term challenge of improving the way the Legislature reviews and grants extended tax preferences.
Once a title-only bill is introduced, it’s common practice for a committee to move the bill, anticipating the specifics will be introduced later. The public had access to SB 6853’s content on the legislative Web site as soon as my fellow legislators did.
I believe legislators owe it to the people we represent to explore all options in addressing the issues of the day — title-only bills are one of a variety of legislative tools used during the course of session.
SEN. PHIL ROCKEFELLER, D-Kitsap County
A lust for power and control
Throughout history there have been individuals whose lust for power and control has been their driving force, their motivation.
Today in Iran we see much unrest as people struggle against their leadership, driven by the country’s lust for power and control — witness Russia, North Korea, North Vietnam, China, Cuba, Venezuela, etc.
We see a lust for power and control by an individual and a relative handful of corrupt followers, who utilize mind control to manipulate their militaries and general populations.
What fuels this lust for power and control? Could it be envy, greed, anger, hatred, jealousy, fear, tortured ego, misguided education? Certainly it doesn’t come from loving one’s neighbor.
What is happening in America? Why is our Constitution under attack? Are we about to lose our independence, liberty and freedom to a lust for power and control? Is our Congress under the spell and smell of a lust for power and control? Do the initials “B.O.” stand only for bad odor? Is our news media controlled by a lust for power and control? Should we pray for freedom of the press or from the press?
Will freedom of speech be allowed to grow in America, or will that too fall victim to a lust for power and control?
From our leadership and news media we all could stand some genuine honesty, appreciation, integrity, respect and love for the remarkable gifts of independence and freedom. Why sacrifice these founding principles for dictatorial government and tyranny?
MICHAEL W. MUNZ, Shelton