Opinion

Editorial

"The South Whidbey Record's lonesome campaign to convince citizens of this state to adopt the Nebraska style of governance has just received another huge boost from the Washington State Legislature which managed to meet for five months, including one overtime session, and accomplish hardly anything.Gov. Gary Locke gave our legislators time away from Olympia this week, but he's calling them back next week in hopes they will get something done before the rabble storms the Capitol Building.The problem this year, as every year, is that bills can't get through both houses. The Senate deserves credit for finishing its budget in time, but the House of Representatives has been unable to agree on the time of day, let alone the budget. As a result, nothing has been accomplished to address the major issues of the day such as education and transportation.In years when the House does its job, the Senate doesn't, so we can't put all the blame on one body. It's the system that's at fault.If we followed the example of Nebraskans, known for their common sense, our government would function much more efficiently. Like Nebraska, we should adopt the unicameral form of government. That means one legislative body, not two. More work would get done in a speedier fashion and at less cost to the taxpayers.We don't necessarily have to eliminate the House or Senate. Why add to the unemployment rolls and throw all these unqualified people into the real job market? Just combine the two into one body, called the General Assembly perhaps, and let them tackle the issues. Legislation couldn't be killed by the other house, because there wouldn't another house. The governor could sign it or veto it, and that would be the end of it. The judiciary would still be present to see that our rights are protected. Our government would be simpler, faster and less costly. And it could get important things done.The South Whidbey Record challenges our 10th District legislators, Mary Margaret Haugen, Barry Sehlin and Kelly Barlean, to make this off-week a productive one. Start working on a bill to eliminate one of our houses of government. It's your best chance to go down in history as someone who did something positive for the people of Washington. "

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