Letter: GOP lawmakers tighten everyone else's belts
What if, in their alleged drive to cut costs and save money, the North Dakota Legislature could easily save almost a million dollars? What if they could do so without raising a single tax? Or without cutting any vital programs? Or without hurting the poor or our kids?
And, what if they had just voted "no" to a law that would have done all of that?
SB 2323 was given a Do Not Pass recommendation out of the Senate Government and Veterans Affairs Committee with only one member voting Do Pass. The bill then was defeated in the full Senate along party lines.
In a nutshell, the bill stated that "a member of the legislative assembly may not receive compensation or reimbursement for expenses from the state for travel and attendance at any conference or meeting other than meetings of the legislative management and its committees and meetings and attendance at any regular, special or organizational session of the legislative assembly."
In other words, legislators only get reimbursed to attend official business of the state.
But, the bill was voted down in the Senate. So, how about that training in Orlando that a senator or representative decides to attend ... "let's take the grandkids along to Disney." Sure, no problem. Ethics? No need for a committee on that.
What if legislators actually led by example and tightened their own belt a bit? Oh, who voted against passing it, you ask? North Dakota Republicans.