A seemingly benign request that the state honor the people who work in local government has become a debate about the basic structure of government. The bill would have required the Governor to issue a proclamation every year designating the first week of May as “Local Government Week” in Missouri.
It seemed harmless enough, the kind of thing the legislature has done before. But something about this bill created a critical mass in the Senate when it came up for passage.
But some lawmakers are tired to creating new state symbols or of giving special recognition to this or that group. Cape Girardeau Senator Jason Crowell thinks it’s time to stop this kind of thing. He calls the proposal “weird.”
Another Senator wonders if the bill violates the constitutional separation of powers by having the legislature order the Governor to do something. What had been a routine has become a constitutional issue so quickly that the sponsor has shelved his bill, meaning “Local Government Week” will not become another in a long line of ceremonial proclamations meaning nothing to most Missourians.