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Larger State Legislature Would Be Beneficial

September 06, 2002

"Term Limits Hinder Legislative Diligence" (Sept. 2) points to the usefulness of looking for a new way to increase the effectiveness of our state legislators. There has been no dialogue about increasing the size of the Legislature. Not only would a larger Legislature mean less of a burden on any one legislator, but the influence of special interests would be tempered, perhaps dramatically, without our worrying whether legislators are in compliance with campaign and financial disclosure reforms. Some will point to the size of the Capitol and ask how a larger Legislature would be possible. Californians in Silicon Valley and along the digital coast can give a compelling answer.

Van Ajemian



Your article discussed, among other things, the "gut and amend" tactic used by many of our state legislators to circumvent unfavorable votes by legislative committees or on the floor. Even with no legislative experience whatsoever, I know that the California Legislature's Joint Rule 9 prohibits such dishonest maneuvers.

The excuse that inexperience because of term limitations is to blame for rule violations didn't happen to come from a legislator due to be ousted by those limitations, did it? Maybe it's time for another constitutional amendment invalidating statutes passed when gross violations of legislative rules have enabled the passage.

Barbara L. Hamrick


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