Today, Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth testified at the Elections and Ethics Committee on his resolution to require a two-thirds vote to pass legislation in lame duck session – a first and important step in the legislature’s priority focus on ethics.
House Joint Resolution A will “put a stop to last-minute, late-night partisan deal-making in the few months left after an election,” the Speaker said, adding that it “… will help us make sure government is fair, transparent, and accountable to the taxpayers who pay for their government and who send us to Lansing to do the right things and to make their government accessible and understandable.
“It’s the right thing to do for the people of the state, and it’s about time we got it done,” he added.
HJR A was one of the first two bills introduced in the 101st Legislature. The other— House Bill 4001 introduced by Speaker Pro Tempore Pamela Hornberger—prohibits a legislator from voting on a bill if he or she or his/her family members could benefit from it, personally or professionally.
In his remarks to the committee today, the Speaker noted that there is a long list of important items that the Legislature must address in this session, from reopening the state’s businesses and schools to improving access to affordable health care, but the primary focus is restoring trust in government. “…if we don’t fix that, nothing we do in any of those other areas will happen easily, if they happen at all. Because if people don’t trust their government or leaders, they’re not going to trust our processes or outcomes.”