Thursday, November 08, 2007

Death by committee 

House Republican leader Marty Seifert sent out a press release that reflects on the continuing growth of committees and subcommittees in this legislative session.

"There seems to be a lot of repetition without reason. We question the necessity of having so many subgroups working on legislation that a standing committee should be able to accomplish on its own and the great number of meetings being held at taxpayer expense to hear about the problems but not bring forward solutions," Seifert said. "The Democrats have turned a part-time citizen legislature into a full-time job."

Seifert said at a time when schools and nursing homes are struggling to make their budgets, House Democrats chose to almost double its operations budget from $324,000 to $646,000 during a House Rules Committee meeting in August.

"We gave schools a mere 3 percent increase for the biennium and nursing homes received even less than that but then gave gigantic increases to the Legislature," Seifert said. "This is a matter of priorities. The Democrats ran on fiscal responsibility and leadership. They have failed to demonstrate either during their reign of confusion in the Minnesota House. When House Republicans are in charge, we will restore fiscal sanity by cutting the number of committees by more than 50 percent and returning costs to prior levels."

The $646,000 added money to every committee except one: the Ethics Committee. Fancy that. The 2005-06 Legislature spent less than $15,000 of the $323,000 it had budgeted.

Here's a .pdf created by Rep. Seifert's office of the various committees now in play in the state legislature. Now with 50% more arrows, and 99% more budget! And the DFL is spending it, having 17 committee meetings this week alone.

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