Give me my money back: Symbolic legislation wastes time and taxpayers’ money

This semester I’m spending two days a week at the state Capitol for an internship with KUER public radio. A fellow U student asked me if the Legislature would give college students a fair shake, or cut funding once again. All I said was, “Duh.” What do you think?

While attending a committee meeting, I learned just how effectively (sarcasm) our lawmakers use their time.

Two resolutions were advanced in that committee: One was to endorse the president’s plan to privatize Social Security and the other was to support the president’s theoretical Supreme Court nominees.

The problem with the Social Security resolution is that no real plan has yet been presented to the United States Congress for us to vote on. So how can we support the plan as a state?

Regarding Supreme Court nominees, why is it theoretical? As of now, there is not even one spot open on the Supreme Court. Therefore, there have been no nominations.

As a journalist, I could not comment in the meeting, but as an opinionated college student, I would like to ask for my money back for the hour those five legislators spent on those resolutions. Those are just a couple of examples of what I call fluff resolutions. Some members of the Legislature would argue that these are message resolutions.

For example, the Legislature just voted on a resolution to honor the institution of marriage. Although I’m single, if I were married, I doubt I’d need a law telling me to honor my marriage or that marriage should be a special thing.

Another resolution that makes me wonder what the Legislature is thinking (and how overpaid the legislators are) is a proposed “Ronald Reagan Day” to be held every Feb. 6 and celebrated “fittingly.”

With all these resolutions being passed just to send messages, maybe the Legislature should pass one that encourages real work and an end to message legislation. After all, we all pay for the legislators’ time.

[email protected]