Stop bundling state bills
‘Tis the season to bundle up little Jimmy with layers of clothing before sending him outside to play in the cold. And ‘tis the season to bundle up various Christmas presents into one big gift for those special family and friends.
There’s another kind of bundling that will be taking place after the holiday season, in the new year, unless we do something to stop it. It’s the bundling of bills. That is bad for Kansas.
When the Kansas State Legislature convenes in January for the 2016 legislative session, there will be many efforts again to bundle unpopular spending ideas with ones that will surely attract slam dunk approval. The strategy is sneaky and also can be defined as lazy.
New rules approved last year by the Kansas House of Representatives (by an 83-38 vote) and the Kansas Senate (by a 27-7 vote) give our state legislators in both chambers the unchallenged authority to bundle up to five pieces of legislation together for a single yes or no vote. Only pieces of legislation directly tied to state taxation were declared off limits.
The bundling of bills is bad government because it allows state lawmakers to sneak in approval for things that otherwise could not be approved on their own merit.
Action approved in bundled bills often either benefits a select few people or penalizes a few select people, depending on the political will of the majority party. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. That’s the truth.
The end result of the bundling of bills is out of control state spending and a form of governance that, in my view, is un-American and certainly un-Kansan. How the U.S. Congress is geting away with the bundling of bills is a national disgrace.
Between now and mid-January, Kansas voters need to contact their state representatives and state senators and tell them that their first order of business at the new legislative session must be to ban the practice of bundling bills.