BLOG: Legislators outdo college students as procrastinators

Remember your college days? For some of you it requires a bit more of a mental stretch than others. But one thing was nearly universal.

 

If a prof assigned a term paper three months prior, you were invariably finishing it up frantically at 4 a.m. the day it was due. I suppose it’s human nature, but probably not one of our better traits.

 

College students will be college students, so there’s really no way to come down too hard on them for being last-minute warriors.

 

However, when it comes to State Legislators, it’s impossible to understand how they can leave nearly all of the “heavy lifting” legislation-wise to the final week of the session. They knew from the opening bell when the session would end, so “I didn’t know” and “the dog ate my homework” won’t cut it.

 

And now the good residents of Minnesota who voted for this crew sit and wonder what they are up to as behind-closed-doors meetings and other hush-hush negotiations drag on.

 

Is this any way to run a government? Whatever happened to transparency in government? Is this session going to result in a bunch of Obamacare bills, which the legislature will have to pass in order to discover what’s in them?

 

We talk a lot around here about Minnesota’s state government being superior to the Federal Government. We go the feds one better wherever we can in an attempt to shape laws for Minnesotans. Yet when it comes to how the Legislature operates, we’re about right on par with Washington, D.C.

 

And that’s not a good thing.

 

So what have our legislators been doing the past couple months? It doesn’t seem like all that much. Maybe we shouldn’t have been paying them. Funding for transportation and taxes – major issues for all of us – are all still up in the air and all three sides – the House, Senate and the Governor – are still clinging to the last tatters of their sails rather than doing the nitty-gritty work of compromising.

 

I clearly recall the last campaign cycle. Nearly everyone who ran for the Legislature spoke harshly of the previous sessions where little was accomplished other than chest-beating. So we threw some of the bums out. And apparently elected more bums.

 

Minnesotans deserve better.