Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Bill would rearrange Maine’s Legislature, eliminating the House

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU
 
Maine-ah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:47 AM
Original message
Bill would rearrange Maine’s Legislature, eliminating the House
Source: BDN

AUGUSTA, Maine — A legislative committee will take up a bill to make Maine the second state with a unicameral Legislature rather than having a separate House and Senate.

The State and Local Government Committee takes up the bill Monday.

The bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Linda Valentino of Saco proposes a constitutional amendment to abolish the Senate and House of Representatives and replace them with a unicameral Legislature made up of 151 members, who would be referred to as senators. That would require a reapportionment plan by the Legislature that convenes in 2013.

The committee will also take up a bill to shorten legislative sessions by two months in the first year of a two-year session, and by a month in the second year. That would result in pay cuts to legislators.

Read more: http://new.bangordailynews.com/2011/04/04/politics/bill... /



This is the whole story. I'm not exactly sure what this would do...perhaps some of the good folk at DU could help explain this one to me...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:54 AM
Response to Original message
1. Voting to reduce democracy via democratic means.
Very Lewis Carroll
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:05 AM
Response to Original message
2. I'm suspicious of something like this.
It was sponsored by a Democrat so maybe this would help the Democrats somehow, but like you I'm not sure what it would do.

The Maine House already has 151 members

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maine_House_of_Representat...

so what this seems to do is eliminate the Senate and rename the reps "Senators".

It also reapportions in 2013. Maybe Saco is betting that Democrats will be in control then.

If it does help the Democrats then there wouldn't seem to be much chance of this going anywhere under the current government.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
comtec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
3. all it would do is make buying off legislation cheaper for the mega corps
they only have to buy off the one house 50%+1
as opposed to having to do it twice.
it eliminates the entire point of having two houses, that is checks and balances.
i would not be surprised if the legislatures involved aren't backed by the cock..er...coke... er koch brothers.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maine-ah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. lol...(Cock, coke, Koch)
from the explanations, I'm thinking this isn't a good plan....I doubt this will fly in Maine..then again, I didn't think we'd land an asshat like LePage either..
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Po_d Mainiac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. You left out Casella
Those fine folks that are building the mountains of imported garbage.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. But if you reduce the cost of bribing politicians, the savings will be passed along to the consumer!
:sarcasm:


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Iggo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. And jobs will be magically created!
Oh, happy day!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Just to play devil's advocate
I doubt that this is the goal. There are currently 35 members in Maine's Senate. That means 18 need to be bought off for a given bill. I don't think large corporations, or the Koch's, are too concerned about eliminating 18 payoffs. That's chump change to them. They have better uses for their resources then to push constitutional amendments that are unlikely to pass simply to eliminate a handful of bribes.

I think there's something else going on here. I'm not saying it's anything legitimate - I simply don't know - but I don't think it's about having less legislators to payoff.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
djg21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. Disagree.
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 09:28 AM by djg21
The streamliniing likely will make state government more efficient. I've thought that NY should do the same thing.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Po_d Mainiac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
6. Listen to the public hearing--- HP 599, LD 804
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 08:57 AM by Po_d Mainiac
http://www.maine.gov/legis/audio/COB214.html

With Thomas as chair, expect the questioning to be ill informed and rude.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
9. Their supposed goals:
1) Reduce cost
2) Increase the efficiency and accountability of the Legislature

They currently have 151 house members and 35 senators.

I doubt that the proposal would increase efficiency and accountability. It would save some money but I think there are other ways that would be more effective and still provide good representation.

Other proposals they had were reducing the size of the chambers. Reducing the size of the house from 151 to 131. Reducing the senate from 35 to 32. Another previous proposal is to have 33 senate seats and 99 house seats with 3 house seats fitting completely within each senate seat. Wisconsin has that method. Ohio and Tennessee also have 33/99 but don't know if they have house fit in senate. They could increase their senate districts to 50 and reduce house to 100 and it would still be less than what they have now. Personally, I think whatever any state does they should require that house districts should be a multiple of senate districts and house districts fit completely within a senate district.

States with their chamber division and more than a million population and less than 2 million. Total in first column, senate in second, and house in last column.
WV - 134 -- 34 - 100
NE - 49
ID - 105 -- 35 - 70
HI - 76 -- 25 - 51
ME - 186 -- 35 - 151
NH - 424 -- 24 - 400
RI - 113 -- 38 - 75
MT - 150 -- 50 - 100


State senators are only elected to two year terms. Would be better for 4 years.



Following are some advantages cited of the bicameral system:

* It has the capacity to formally represent diverse constituencies (regional, class, ethnic, etc.)
* It hinders the passage of flawed legislation (one chamber can act as a check upon the other)
* With two legislative bodies, there is enhanced oversight of the executive branch.

Advantages of a Unicameral System:

* There is the potential to enact proposed legislation more rapidly, since differences don’t have to be reconciled by two chambers.
* There is the potential of greater accountability, since only one body is responsible for legislation.
* It is less expensive to maintain one body and fewer legislative members.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bbgrunt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
12. wouldn't that require a state constitutional amendment?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
13. Two questions: What does this do to the issue of checks and balances?
How does it effect the two party system of government?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
14. There is no need for representation of "the small states", so I like this idea
There was a time when Ohio had at least one senator for each of the 88 counties.

Cuyahoga County 1.4 million >> Venango county 20,000

That is undemocratic and was eliminated due to the Voting Rights Act in the 1960s.

State governments could give more power to the committees or to the governor if the state needs more "checks and balances".
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Plucketeer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
15. It's that drive for smaller, leaner government
Think of the money saved by doing away with state legislatures and even the top executive office! Just install "warlords" who answer to the Kochs!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
16. I favor a unicameral strong legislature.
The two houses thing is nonsense. Why two? Why not three or four or five? One is sufficient.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Travelman Donating Member (326 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
17. It would make Maine the second unicameral legislature in the US
The other is Nebraska.

Somewhat interesting history. It apparently represents a pretty fat savings for the taxpayer, though I would be a bit dubious about this in anything other than "small" states.

Nebraskans voted overwhelmingly for the unicameral. Presumably they still like it that way. If that's what the folks in Maine want, and they have a referendum (or whatever their proper means of amending their state constitution is), then good for them. Within reason, and within the US Constitution, I see no reason why they should not be completely welcome to choose for themselves whatever form of state government that they want.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
lobodons Donating Member (448 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
18. Would need a strong Peoples Veto option
Hopefully Maine has a Peoples Veto Option so that any legislation could be repealed by the People if necessary. Even a Line Item Veto OPtion for the people would be better yet.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bigmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
19. Wouldn't that mean redistricting with the GOP in charge?
I would think so, and I would think that would be to their huge advantage.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Jul 11th 2014, 08:53 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC