D.C. Voting Rights - A League Victory! (Carol Whitesell)
On Other Legislative Concerns...
Juvenile Justice Study: A Detention Report
Final Call to Council
Who and Why of Council
Voter Service Gears Up
During the course of the 1979-80 legislative session, the League and other community groups became concerned about certain legislative practices which discourage citizens from participating in the legislative process. On March 16, we joined representatives from the ACLU, Common Cause, Legislative Concerns Committee of the Hawaii Council of Churches, and Media Council at a press conference to air these concerns.
The major problem identified by the League and other groups at that time was inadequate notice of legislative hearings. House and Senate rules require 48 hours notice of hearings, but those rules are often waived. Groups operating largely with volunteers find it extremely difficult to draft and pre-sent testimony when notices are received the day before or the day of the hearing.
Other concerns raised were: poor use of the legislative recess; closed meetings in violation of sunshine requirements; too many short form bills and misleading bill titles. An underlying problem for everyone--legislators, staff, and citizens alike --is the large number of bills. Over 6,000 bills were introduced during the 1979-80 legislature. It appears that public access to the legislative process often takes a back seat to what is most convenient and expedient for legislators.