Leading from the Left

Friday, March 02, 2007

A New Day in the State House

House Speaker Joe Hackney (D-Orange) continues to clean things up in Raleigh. His new rules for the House, which he announced this week, are a giant step forward in terms of creating more transparent operations. Good government advocates have been calling for these changes for a long time. Hat's off to Speaker Hackney for taking more steps to clean up the cesspool at the state legislature.

Specifically, Hackney's new rules do the following:

• Ban committee floaters
• Ban blank bills
• Ban same day consideration of legislation
• Limit special provisions in the budget unless they pertain to appropriations

The Senate adopted their rules on the first day of session, back in January, so they will not be taking up any of these reforms. While it's unfortunate that they will not act on reform this year, the Senate is now under increased pressure to also institute reform measures when they next adopt rules.