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Speaker-Elect Steele Names House Reform Group (Nov 19, 2010)

State House Speaker-elect Kris Steele today announced the creation of a working group to reform house rules, which the Shawnee Republican says will make the legislative process more transparent.

Representatives making up the all-Republican group are Jeff Hickman, Gary Banz, Jason Nelson, David Dank and Dan Sullivan. Among other things, the group will consider ending the practice of voting on so-called shell appropriation bills that contain no actual budget numbers.

Also, they may try to implement a hard 24-hour rule that would require House conference committee reports to be filed and posted online a full day before being considered on the House floor. Steele says tremendous strides were made toward transparency in recent years and believes more can be done to give citizens greater access to the legislative process.

The group is receiving some criticism, however, from Democratic Representative Joe Dorman. Noting that the working group is entirely Republican, Dorman today called for the acceptance of input from Democratic members too, as well as Republican members who’ve expressed concern over the proposed changes.

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