Re "A vote for more lawmakers," Aug. 4, 2009
Ryan Coonerty's suggestion of a larger California Legislature with smaller districts is an excellent proposal. But he misses other ideas to make a more efficient and responsive Legislature. Cutting legislators' salaries in half does nothing but punish good lawmakers and discourage good candidates from running.
Instead, the state should combine the 40-member Senate and 80-member Assembly into a unicameral Legislature of 120 Assembly members, as was proposed by former Assembly Speaker Jesse Unruh many years ago. Also, to discourage campaign fundraising by politicians, we should increase the term of office for Assembly members from two years to four. Longer terms eliminate the need to constantly raise money for an upcoming election.
These proposals, along with smaller districts, would help to restore the public's faith in state lawmakers.
Nobody but aspiring politicians will support this idea. The last thing we need is more overpaid politicians (and the overpaid staffs that come with them) who will find more ways to pass more laws that will take away more of our money and more of our freedoms.
G. Douglas Andersen