Change incentives for legislators

By: - August 29, 2005 4:41 am

Jacksonville Daily News


RALEIGH – A telltale sign that legislative sessions are about to wind down – or, at least, that it’s high time they did – is the appearance of stories about the daily cost of legislative sessions and how many lawmakers are taking their per-diem checks despite the lack of any real business going on in the General Assembly.There was a lot of such talk just before the late-August all-nighter that appeared to signify the end of the 2005 legislative session. It occurred during a week when a gaggle or so members had flown off to Seattle for a conference. An overwhelming majority of the remaining members, despite not actually doing any business in Raleigh, kept collecting their government checks.

Outrageous? Well, it depends on your point of view. Given the fact that much of what the General Assembly was "working" on this year wasn’t worth doing – a bloated, $17.2 billion state budget, another round of tax increases, various subsidy programs and intrusive regulations – the prospect of legislative inaction probably seemed quite attractive to many North Carolinians. (more…)

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Chris Fitzsimon

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina. [email protected] 919-861-2066