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Letter: Don’t let committee chairs have veto power over legislation

Regardless of party affiliation, now is the time to end the assumed power of these legislators to create a caucus-based “legislature within the Legislature” that allows individual committee chairs to assume de facto veto power over legislation by refusing to act on referred bills.

Many bills die without debate allowed because of this abusive assumed power. Members of the caucus who object to this practice are punished. Worse yet, we are not owed an explanation when this is done. If they don’t want to deal with so many bills, quit introducing them or co-sponsoring them.

How do they justify this action in the face of their own rules?

“Legislative Uniform Rules, Rule 24, Committee Referral and Action (a) A committee acts on all bills referred to it and reports its actions and recommendations to the house as soon as practicable. Committee reports must be in writing and the report must be signed by a majority of the members of the committee. The report will note the recommendation of each member signing the report.”

— Lynn Willis

Eagle River