Is civics taught anymore?
In that class we were taught that members of the legislative branch of government were people who represented the citizens in the law-making process. We also learned that they are a separate, but equal branch of government maintained by a system of "checks and balances."
There is no definition of "legislator" in the state constitution, statutes or lege rules. Nor are there any general duties of leges listed in the law.
Of late, the line between the legislative and executive branches of state government have blurred.
The blurring was never more evident than the recent effort of the leges to call themselves into a special session. The reason for the effort was because the leges (and we the people) had been left entirely out of major decisions on state spending. Without budgetary oversight the leges have no real power under a system of "checks and balances."
In response to the effort to call themselves into session, a majority of the leges obediently did what the governor wanted and refused to call themselves into session.
The leges gave a lot of phony excuses about wasting money, no plan, etc. Heck, that’s the case with every lege session. To my knowledge, not a single lege indicated that their constituents didn’t want them to go into session.
Perhaps it is time to pass a state law to define a legislator as it was taught to us in civics before the concept is completely lost on future leges. Here are my suggestions for additions to Title 24 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes:
24:1.1 Legislator, definition, duties
A. A legislator is a representative of the people in their respective district. They stand in the place of the citizens in the legislature as a convenience to those citizens.
B. A legislator’s vote shall reflect the views of the voters in their district regardless of the legislators’ personal views.
C. To cast an informed vote, a legislator shall communicate timely with their constituents.
D. Upon qualifying for election as a legislator, a candidate shall file a statement with the Clerk of the House or Secretary of Senate, respectively, stating that they have read and understand R.S. 24.1.1. The statement shall be posted immediately on the legislative website.
E. The Secretary of State shall include with the qualifying documents for the legislature a copy of this law.
24:1.2 Failure to perform; public notice
If a citizen believes that their legislator has failed to perform the duties outlined in R.S. 24:1.1 they may file a letter with the Clerk of the House or Secretary of the Senate, respectively, outlining such failures. These letters shall be immediately posted on the legislative website.
Purposely, there are no sanctions for violating the above suggested law. We also learned in civics about our duties as citizens. One of those duties is to hold our leges accountable by being informed.
To some, I know this all sounds like common sense, but common sense is no longer common.
Now, if we could just get someone who is supposed to represent the citizens to propose this new law during the 2013 Regular Session.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
John Paul Devillier has been charged with attempted first-degree murder of a peace...
The man arrested in connection with the shooting of Corp. Burt Hazeltine has been...
St. Charles Parish’s second annual crawfish cook-off will be bigger in nearly every...
A roller derby team from Colorado skated through Louisiana this month as part of...
Cpl. Burt Hazeltine of the St. Charles Sheriff's Office returned home from...
A Destrehan woman who got into an argument with her ex-boyfriend tried to resolve...
New York Life gives you the path to financial security of life time protection and value of life insurance, annuities, retirement plans and other financial planning. Let us help you achieve the financial goal of lifetime income!
St. Charles Parish residents shocked that former DHS teacher will avoid jail - 3609 views
“Disgusting! This is a proven case of ‘who you are and the pull you have with the system!’” Shannon Pugh Polizzi said of Shelley Dufresne’s plea agreement that avoided jail time and having to register as a sex offender.