Legislature(1993 - 1994)

01/22/1993 09:10 AM Senate STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  SENATOR MILLER introduced SJR 5  (COMMITTEE ACTION ON BILLS;                 
  CAUCUSES) sponsored by Senator Leman,  as the final order of                 
  SENATOR LEMAN said SJR 5 deals with the procedure for acting                 
  on bills and  the procedure in committee.  He explained that                 
  he got the idea for this  particular legislative reform from                 
  the State  of Colorado.   Colorado adopted the  procedure in                 
  1988, and they have found that it has worked well.                           
  The legislation provides that every  bill or resolution that                 
  is introduced must be heard in committee.  The rationale for                 
  this is that  a committee chairman,  by himself or  herself,                 
  would not be able  to singularly kill a bill  or resolution,                 
  but that it would  have to come before the  committee and be                 
  heard.  The  committee could take a  vote and decide  not to                 
  further  advance  the  bill.    The  Rules  Committee  would                 
  schedule bills for floor action in  the order that the bills                 
  are referred  to the  Rules Committee.   Senator Leman  sees                 
  this as a process that is more open to the public.                           
  SENATOR LEMAN said the legislation  also provides that every                 
  bill would be considered upon its  merit.  The final section                 
  of the resolution relates to  caucuses. It prevents a member                 
  from being bound by a caucus to vote for or against a matter                 
  coming  before the  legislature,  except for  organizational                 
  Number 150                                                                   
  SENATOR MILLER  questioned whose definition  of "merit"  was                 
  being used.  He said one member may feel a bill has a lot of                 
  merit, while  another member  may feel  it doesn't  have any                 
  merit at all.  SENATOR LEMAN agreed that some bills may have                 
  no merit,  but he said they should  be considered, and if it                 
  is  found that they have  no merit, then  they should not be                 
  discharged by the committee.                                                 
  Number 180                                                                   
  SENATOR MILLER added that  the problem he has with  the word                 
  "merit" is that it is an extremely subjective term.                          
  SENATOR  TAYLOR moved  to  pass SJR  5  from committee  with                 
  individual recommendations.   Hearing no  objections, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  

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