A shorter legislative session in 2012? That’s a Republican proposal in the budget bill moving through the House.
Next year, the second year of the biennium, would normally have a shorter session anyway, primarily handling bonding issues. But this provision in the bill would start it later than usual — in early March — thus saving up to 50 percent of the cost of session-only staff, says House Public Information Services.
Other legislative cuts in the bill, according to the story:
- A reduction to House per diem from the current $77 per day to $66;
- A freeze (in place since 2008) on permanent employee salaries to current levels;
- An increase for member and employee health insurance of 7.7 percent in each year of the biennium;
- Elimination of funding for tuition reimbursement;
- Minimal funding for out-of-state travel, with speaker approval only;
- Funding committee budgets at a reduced level.
House Controller Jim Reinholdz said in a memo:
“While the House of Representatives is making continuing reductions to the operations budget, it has a constitutional duty to perform its functions. This budget will fulfill those duties, but with noticeable reductions and change to current operations. The House needs to be wary of reductions that will diminish the capacity to perform its constitutional functions.”