The Washington Policy Center is pushing a constitutional amendment to require more transparency in the legislative process.
The free-market think tank’s proposal is a long shot to ever become part of the state constitution, because it would need approval by two-thirds of the House and Senate before it could even go to the voters. Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown on Monday pooh-poohed claims by Jason Mercier of the policy center that the Senate is operating under a veil of secrecy.
Mercier has details on his blog. His amendment would require a public hearing before a vote on a bill, and the hearing would have to wait for 72 hours after the bill’s introduction. There’s also a 24-hour period of public access required before a bill’s final passage. A two-thirds vote could suspend the requirements. Title-only bills would be prohibited.
Brown said the Senate has operated transparently and with agreement from both parties on how quickly bills can be heard. She said title-only bills give lawmakers flexibility to make changes late in the legislative process, but still have to advance through many steps in that process once they’ve been changed.
“I don’t think there’s going to be any lack of ability for people to weigh in – in fact, tons of people are weighing in,” Brown said.