Assemblyman Travis Allen Introducing Legislation Re-Establishing a Part-Time Legislature for California
SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) announced he is introducing legislation to return the California Legislature to being a part-time institution, ending decades of political careerism and re-establishing a true citizen-legislature in the nation’s most populous state.
“During five years of serving in the California Assembly, I’ve seen firsthand the waste in the California Legislature. Most Legislative sessions are little more than a 45 minute formality, with legislators commemorating calendar events and reading public obituaries; they are a facade designed to pay legislators and give the appearance of activity to the public,” said Assemblyman Travis Allen. “California’s fifty-year experiment with a full-time legislature is a dismal failure. Today’s California government spends, taxes, and regulates with historical precedence and a near total disregard for the will of California’s citizens.”
Currently, the California Legislature is in session for most of the year, typically from January to September. Legislators introduce literally thousands of bills annually, many of which are frivolous and wholly unnecessary. Legislators are paid $104,000 a year and earn more than $30,000 annually in tax-free per diem payments among other perks.
Under Allen’s legislation, the state legislature would convene in January of each year, for no more than 30 days. It would convene again in May for a maximum of 60 days, with an additional five days to re-consider legislation vetoed by the Governor. Special sessions would be limited to 15 days. Similar to other part-time legislatures, in odd-numbered years the legislature would be limited to passing a budget. During even-numbered years, legislative sessions would be devoted to non-budgetary legislation.
“The concept that full-time legislators lead to better governance has proven to be a myth. Rather than serving the interests of ordinary Californians, a full-time legislature has led to political cronyism, moral corruption, and special interest pandering on an epic scale.”
“The state legislature is currently in session for most of the year, thousands of bill are introduced, and little good is accomplished,” said Allen. “The achievements that led California to become the greatest state in the nation – our California University system, State Water Project, and our extensive interconnected state freeway system – were all accomplished by part-time legislators who had real lives and real jobs outside of state government.”
“It’s about time California returns to a part-time legislature comprised of Californian citizens with real jobs in the real world, who convene only long enough to deal with the most vital issues facing our state. It’s about time California Legislators actually work for their compensation and are forced to live with the real world consequences of the laws they have been so liberally passing.”