EDMONTON, AB (May 14, 2012): Wildrose Official Opposition House Leader Rob Anderson today sent a package of proposals to Government House Leader Dave Hancock that would change how MLAs debate legislation and make the process more accountable and responsive to Albertans.
In a letter to Hancock, Anderson made a four-step proposal for how the new all-party Legislature Policy Committees could improve the legislative process:
- All substantive government bills should pass second reading in the spring sitting and then be referred to the appropriate Legislature Policy Committee.
- The Committee would then take the remainder of the spring sitting and the summer recess to review each bill and seek input from affected stakeholders as well as all Albertans.
- When session resumes for the fall sitting, each bill would then be debated in Committee of the Whole and in third reading incorporating the feedback from summer consultations.
- During the fall sitting, the Legislature Policy Committees would hold pre-budget consultations, soliciting input and presenting findings to government in advance of the following year’s budget.
Anderson said Premier Redford’s proposal to create more meaningful all-party Legislature Policy Committees is a constructive step in the right direction, however, Albertans need some specifics on how these revamped Committees would work. The Wildrose proposal would allow for more careful consideration of government business and give MLAs and regular Albertans a greater role in debating and improving legislation. “Our proposal will give regular Albertans and their elected representatives much more influence on the business of the Legislature regardless of which party their MLA belongs to or what position their MLA holds,” Anderson said. “Premier Redford has indicated she wants to improve how the Legislature operates and we certainly support that. We believe our proposals would go a long way toward achieving that goal.”