February 7, 2016

Shorter legislative sessions to be debated

State senate leaders hope to talk by the end of the week about making Missouri’s part-time legislature even more part-time.

If Senator John Lamping’s proposed constitutional amendment already were in effect, this year’s debates would end on March 23rd, not May 18th.  And the veto session would be in June, not in September. Supporters say shortening the sessions would save a lot of money.

His proposed amendment would give several days to properly edit and print final versions of the bills with April 6th the new adjournment date. 

We’ve looked at the last decade of legislative session. Lawmakers had met for 41 working days, on average, by the date Lamping would have the session end.  Sessions have averaged 72 days under the present law. Today will be the 19th debate day of this session.

The proposal does not decrease lawmakers’ salaries while cutting their days in debate by 43 percent.