Resolution seeks to change state constitution, eliminate two-third introductory vote
March 5, 2020
CHEYENNE — The State House last week approved House Resolution 4 which would take a constitutional question to the voters to eliminate the need for a two-thirds vote for introduction of non-budget bills during budget sessions.
The resolution now moves to the Senate.
Rep. Mike Greear (R-Worland) voted in favor of the resolution stating, “House Resolution 4 would eliminate the two-third introductory vote during the budget session. It has been my observation over the last five budget sessions that the introductory vote is a waste of time. Very few bills fail introduction and the ones that do are typically bills that we should debate. When on the rare occasion, a bill fails introduction it is because the far right and the Democrats will vote against introduction for different reasons. This year of the 50 bills that failed introduction it was because they were never brought to the floor.
“I think this idea is coming forward now, as we see the increased workload of the legislature and the time spent on introduction votes could be better spent working on the budget or debating bills.”
He added, “I actually would like to see the Amendment pass the voters and then move to two 30-day sessions where the budget is split in half, so that half is worked each year. I believe that would allow Joint Appropriations Committee to do a better job, as they will have more time with each agency to perform a deeper dive, and it would cut down on the supplemental budget. We need to remember that we spend a great deal of time each general session on a supplemental budget – which was not contemplated when the two-third was voted in.
“Overall, I believe that we would be more effective and it would be less burdensome on Legislators that live 300 miles from the Capital to have two thirty-day sessions with a standard budget each year that covers half of the government.”
Rep. John Winter (R-Thermopolis) voted against the resolution.