To The Daily Sun,
While the firestorm over the actions of a state representative using the only opportunity provided to him to debate a piece of legislation, I wonder why the actions of Rep. Robert Cushing, et. al., who introduced the bill, or the lessons taught by Mr. James Cutting being questioned.
The business conducted by the General Court is serious and impacts the daily lives of the citizens of the state. The decisions made determine whether some families will be able to put food on their tables or a roof over their heads. Just as important is the cost of precious taxpayer dollars for the process to consider those bills.
Think about it. It is an economics lesson that should be given before petitioning a legislator to present an idea for a bill. While I commend Mr. Cutting for educating the students in the process, he should also encourage the idea to be one of real substance such as requiring paid lobbyists to be heard in public hearing after the citizens are given an opportunity to be heard or that all bills be distributed in electronic form only.
Every idea that is introduced for consideration requires research and time by a staff attorney to write the appropriate language and format. Once the bill is written it requires printing a minimum of 400-plus copies of the bill for the legislators and staff distribution. That also requires materials and time of the legislative staff. The next step is for the bill is given a public hearing requiring more copies for public distribution. Once the committee takes action, the bill must now be included in the Calendar and additional copies made for distribution to the 400 members and the public. It then takes the time of the legislators to discuss and vote on the bill. And then the final results must be published in the Journal for public distribution. None of the above includes the cost of security, utilities and other support systems needed to operate the state Legislature.
It is you and I, the taxpayers who pay for the salaries of those employed to assist at the Statehouse for each bill to be introduced, considered and voted by the body.
Mr. James Cutting should share the math lessons with his students and weigh the cost to those families who are working hard to pay for the legislation they suggest. Rep. Cushing and the other sponsors of HB-373 owe the taxpayers an apology for introducing a "feel good" bill when there are much more important issues to resolve.
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