f you’re sitting at home waiting on the Missouri legislature to come to your rescue with the recent special session, I’ve got some bad news. The special session, called for by Gov. Mike Parson, yielded exactly two bills for the governor’s signature.
The session was allegedly called to stem “violent crime.” That still makes me laugh, because I don’t think a bunch of people in suits, socially distancing in Jefferson City are going to solve much of our crime problems, but I guess everyone has hopes and dreams. The governor was quoted as saying this about the special session, “You’re not going to hit a home run every time in this building.”
Uh, this was like a proverbial pop up bunt to the first baseman. You should feel safer next time you go out. They passed a law that allows police officers in St. Louis to live outside the city limits and they created a fund for witness protection service. Feel safe yet? A quick side note to all this progress is that the legislature failed to provide funding for the fund they created for the witness protection program. Feel safe yet?
I will tell you what is not safe, your wallet. Based on prior special sessions, these two bills are going to set the taxpayers back a couple hundred thousand dollars. That’s only 100k or so per bill. That’s cheap in 2020, bargain bills. Feel better?
Wait, the good news for taxpayers keeps rolling. The final parting shot is that they think they will have to have another special session to “finish” up their “crime fighting” legislation and deal with COVID budget changes. Surely, that won’t cost more than half million or so to find out they can’t agree again.
If you are a violent criminal, I’m assuming this is good news and you can continue your ways. If you’re a taxpayer, this seems like relatively bad news.
I am still befuddled by the new “make voting easier” crowd. Last week I stumbled upon a CBS news story that was promoting their comprehensive guide on “how to vote in all 50 states.” Have I missed something about voting? Is this really a complicated process for people? If voting is complicated to people, I think we should begin to question our education in this country.
In our part of the world, I have always found voting to be one of the simplest of tasks. It is resoundingly a local controlled event with locally elected officials controlling it. Local election officials and their staff are overwhelming accommodative for voters. Absentee voting is simple, local election officials are available leading up to the election and there is substantial information out that allows people to get registered and where to vote. It seems that the process has not become more complicated, but instead the new push to make it easier to vote is simply an effort to require less effort for an already simple task.
It’s the voting equivalent of giving participation ribbons. Shouldn’t it require at least a little effort?
(Guy Speckman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or popping up bunts to the first baseman)