Letters to the Editor

Saturday, Jan 05 2013 11:00 PM

Process needed for reviewing laws

By The Bakersfield Californian

Inga Barks' recent column on the burglary of her home ("'Realignment' especially frustrating as a victim," Dec. 8) highlighted the probable (admittedly unproven) connection to "the early release of that felon who stole your Corvette ..." as Inga characterized what officials euphemistically call "realignment." She concludes with a question of why this law was ever voted for by our state legislators. This raises a rarely stated related question: Why are local, state, and federal laws seldom, if ever, reviewed for their current validity and constituent value?

The American Society for Quality recently reported how our traditional lawmaking process is hopelessly inadequate and produces laws that, at best, are mediocre. ASQ proposed a greatly improved system to be used at all levels of government.

Also proposed was a simple process that addresses the need to review -- and repeal -- previously passed laws that:

* No longer address their defined problem.

* Address a problem that no longer exists.

* Have no stated purpose in terms of measurable outcomes.

* Duplicate or conflict with other laws.

* Are unconstitutional.

* Are no longer enforced.

Similar criteria can be applied to the multitude of boards and commissions at all levels of government. Locally, Kern's Citizens Advisory Committee on Annexations is one of many such examples. Most of these laws, boards and commissions have budget implications. Repeal not only will simplify our governance systems and its processes, it also will eliminate their significant costs and valuable staff resources.

Where are our newly elected leaders to implement this cost-saving concept?

John Pryor


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