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Volunteer Article

Reforming the Legislature

February 5th, 2016
by Jon Schuessler

The General Assembly needs an overhaul.

It's over-complicated, dictatorial, and knee-deep in Party posturing. There's simply no room for an honest, democratic debate about the public welfare.

I provide a caustic overview of the mess that is the Missouri House which you can view by clicking here.

However, I think the following flow chart says it all:


MO House Power Flowchart
A "simplified" chart of our state House.

Our General Assembly supposedly represents a gathering of citizen-legislators. Since they each speak on behalf of an equal number of people, they should have an equal voice. That doesn't happen.

The current system doesn't come close.  In fact, I would say that:

A Proposal for Change

To fix these problems, serious changes are needed. Above all else, the system needs to be simplified. There also must be an equal chance for members to contribute and be heard. Finally, the system needs to be more populist and less geared toward elite interests.

A sample proposal for the House is depicted below, where the number of committees that make laws is cut by two-thirds, from 55 down to 17.

MO House Power Flowchart
The Proposed Plan

The prominent features of this new plan are as follows:

As you can see, the plan is to put a lid on the “legal spam” that has infected our government, and to distribute power as evenly as possible.

Of course, there are always drawbacks. One of the main disadvantages of this system is that it does not allow legislators to gravitate toward committees in their area of expertise. Having the “best” people reviewing a bill, however, is less important than ensuring that laws are drafted in a free-thinking, principled setting.


Jon Schuessler is a Volunteer leader in Jefferson County, and the chairman for Missouri Volunteers for Government Reform, a Political Action Committee (PAC) of the Volunteer Movement. Click here to read his bio or contact him.

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