Charlotte Observer: Give state legislators 72 hours to read budget bill (5/9/06)

This editorial calls for the North Carolina state legislature to allow its member 72 hours to read the budget bill before debate on it begins. This would not affect the U.S. Congress, post bills online or affect bills other than the budget, but it’s still a step in the right direction.

Excerpts follow (emphasis added)

May 7, 2006

“Change The Culture: N.C. must reform its ways of doing business as usual” (editorial)

May 7–EDITORIALS Over the past week, the Observer has published seven essays on how the legislature should reform its ways. The writers represented widely differing experiences: executive branch officials, present and past legislators, a lobbyist, a former party chairman and policy advocates.


All are worth considering, but the 2006 legislative session, which convenes Tuesday, doesn’t have to adopt every good idea. It must, however, adopt a much stronger reform bill than the lame and ineffective lobbyist regulation bill passed by the U.S. House last week. Fortunately, a state House Select Committee on Ethics and Government Reform, appointed by Speaker Jim Black and co-chaired by Reps. Joe Hackney and Julia Howard, is developing legislation to address many of the ethical problems. The Observer’s editorial board believes ethics reform legislation should make these changes in four key areas.


Legislative procedures
— Require legislative leaders to give members 72 hours between the time the budget bill is distributed and floor debate on it begins.