(If only the legislature would listen! - promoted by countrycat)
There was a post on the main page for which I missed the opportunity to reply, in which we were asked for New Year's resolutions for the state legislature. Having given the question some thought, I would recommend a set of anti-resolutions: things I would like the legislature NOT to do during this year.
Do NOT introduce any bills having to do with abortion. We have previously-passed legislation that is being challenged in the courts. Leave the issue alone.
Do NOT introduce any bills having to do with prayer. Without exception, such bills are attempts to merge religious and government functions. They are lawsuits waiting to happen.
Do NOT introduce bills that promote proselytizing in public schools, whether it be by teaching creationism, by taking precious school hours away to allow churches to give religious instruction during the school day, by holding religious assemblies in the schools, or by other means. Students whose families care about such things have churches that can perform these functions outside of school. These kinds of bills are also lawsuits waiting to happen.
Do NOT attempt to balance the budget on the backs of state workers and schoolteachers. These workers are not the enemy. It becomes less and less attractive to attempt to get a job working for the government. Many people who voluntarily gave up the possibility of a lucrative private-sector job years ago in return for reasonable benefits, a decent pension, and job security working for the government, are now finding those things they depended on being taken away. This does not escape the notice of potential government employees.
Do NOT continue the trend toward privatizing education at government expense. Vouchers and other forms of funneling government funds to private (and in most cases religious) schools do absolutely nothing to improve the quality of education in the state; rather, they fritter away funds the state can scarcely afford to give up.
I don't have any hope that these ideas will come to pass. Rather than these things being avoided, they seem to constitute the lion's share of what legislators actually do.
This is highly unfortunate.