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Accountability hurts

Posted at 12:31 PM on May 11, 2007 by Bob Collins (2 Comments)

If you've been following the MFL, you probably know how much I hate voice votes. I think people should go on the record all the time.

This afternoon Sen. Satveer Chaudhary tried to introduce an amendment to include former Sen. Bob Lessard's name on the bill -- SF6 -- that would constitutionally dedicate finding to natural resources (we'll leave the cultural stuff out of this discussion for now). He noted that Lessard was in the Senate gallery watching.

After a short debate, in which not a discouraging word was heard, Senate President Don Betzold called for a voice vote. It failed and it was pretty clear the "no's" had it. Then someone moved to vote again by having those in favor standing.

So then people had to stand and let Lessard see who was voting against it. Let's just say that there wasn't much courage to the conviction as only a handul of senators stood. Ah, if only I had video because the site of sitting senators looking around to see who was standing, and then they stood themselves, was priceless.

Betzold ruled that there were more than 35 members standing and the amendment passed.

And that, folks, is how we make sausage.


Comments (2)


Permanent Rules of the Senate
85th Legislature (2007-2008)

40. Voting

40.1 The President shall distinctly state the question before taking the vote. The President shall declare the result of the vote. If a member questions the result of a vote, the President shall order a division. (N.B. a standing vote, see OP)

40.3 At any time before the start of voting on a question, a member may request a roll call vote, which must be entered in the Journal. (emphasis added)

Go Carriers! Props to Carrier Rep. Heidgerken for his amendment to add driving up to 70 in a 60 (along with driving up to 65 in a 55) among infractions not reported to insurance companies!

Posted by Doug Gray | May 11, 2007 2:49 PM


Correct.

Keep in mind the reason that the legislature is using the constitution to budget, is because the legislators and governor don't have the courage -- or can't muster the will -- to make the difficult budgeting decisions, outside of politics. So they basically tie their own hands. Stupid? You decide.

The same is true for my idea on roll call votes -- especially in committees. You can't trust them to hold themselves accountable. If roll calls were mandatory, they wouldn't have a choice.

Posted by Bob Collins | May 11, 2007 2:56 PM