Rep. Hank Zuber told the Ocean Springs Lions Club the next big thing in his career will be a push to cut the number of have legislative sessions in half.
Just days after Gov. Phil Bryant signed a campaign-finance overhaul Zuber had championed for 13 years, he said he believed the Legislature could benefit from having a session to consider general legislation every other year.
“Up until the ’60s or early ’70s, a vast majority of states only had a general session every other year,” he said. “You still have a handful of states that have a bi-annual, or every two years, including Texas. Texas’ GDP is a lot larger than Mississippi’s.”
He said it would allow more time for serious debate and for legislators to read, research and investigate bills before voting.
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“I think ... the number of bills will decrease,” he said. “I think the bills will be better. It will be a better product.”
He said legislators alsov will be less inclined toward knee-jerk reactions to national issues.
He said special sessions could be called to deal with natural disasters and economic-development projects that need immediate attention.
“That goes on now,” he said. “In the past few years, we’ve had special sessions on tornadoes and economic-development projects.
“That won’t change. We’ll still have that flexibility.”
He said he isn’t sure he would like to put the appropriations process on an every-other-year timetable, though.
“I have to do more research before I can say whether I would support that,” he said. “But the argument could be made that it would give more stability to these agencies.”