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The Committee on Oversight stalls in the Legislature

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City Hall, Los Santos – On 22nd of September a vote was conducted on Oliver Hall’s H.R. 155 the Committee on Oversight.

The bill failed to progress with a 2-2 split for and against the resolution. Ryyan Avery (Ind.) was the only representative who abstained from the bill, with Joanna Poole (Ind.) and Audrey Storm (Ind.) voting against. Cooper Bergowitz (Ind.) voted for the bill with Oliver Hall (Ind,) the bills author.

The bill was designed to ‘establish an investigatory committee to ensure proper oversight of government agencies is maintained’ with provisions for a extensive investigative mandate into the executive branches. This latest setback for supporters of a commission after former Governor McKenzie vetoed a investigative commission back in August.

Audrey Storm released this statement about the decision on the resolution.

H.R. 155 is very similar to a bill I previously proposed in the last session, and it was one that the people did not like. The biggest problem for the people was the ability to be subpoenaed to testify to the committee, regardless if it is a legal matter or investigative. Business owners don’t want to be a pawn or forced to show up or face legal ramifications if they choose not to participate in what could potentially be “petty” investigations, or things that would normally not need them to be legal forced to show up. There are changes that need made to this bill before I would be comfortable voting to pass it, which has been discussed amongst the legislature. I look forward to seeing a changed version of this bill in the future.

LEGISLATIVE SPEAKER AUDREY STORM (Ind.)

Representative Joanna Poole also release a statement regarding the vote.

I wished to give transparency regarding why I voted against H.R. 155, as I have been asked by the press for comment. I did so because it seemed to create an imbalance of power within the government. Before Mr. Hall changed the bill to also include the Legislative Branch into the list of departments that would be subjected to this bill, it seemed as if we were going to hold all other departments accountable but ourselves. Once he made that change, I still felt that a committee that only consisted of State Representatives to investigate other government departments was not necessary and would give us too much power. 

I think, looking at previous Congresses, we more than any other department need accountability.

LEGISLATIVE SECRETARY JOANNA POOLE (IND.)

Representative Avery (Ind.) said; “Its similar to a certain bill an on the run ex-politician tried to push through.”

In a statement, Author of the resolution, Representative Oliver Hall said

I was disappointed that H.R. 155 The Committee on Oversight failed to reach a majority in the Legislature. I hope to reconcile the perceived issues, and work with other State Representatives to re-propose the committee at some point in the future. I am confident that the committee is necessary to hold the government accountable, by and through the People’s elected representatives.

Representative Oliver Hall (IND.)

Concern was raised by the other representatives regarding the subpoenaing of citizens to testify in the committee. Oliver hall goes onto clarify

there is a perception that the resolution would grant the Legislature new and unprecedented powers. This again is simply not true. The resolution as written would provide the Legislature with no new powers – it would solely give guidance to already existing powers

Representative Oliver Hall (IND.)

Hall also addressed the ‘Kangaroo Court” claims by some members of the public.

the purpose of the committee is not to conduct criminal investigations nor in any way pester government agencies for minor errors in their conduct – a good example of the committee’s purpose is impeachment. It is necessary to have firm infrastructure in place that could be used in times of emergency – with the alternative being making up rules and guidelines on the spot. Ultimately any investigation conducted would need approval of at least three representatives – opening an investigation would never be easy nor happen on a whim.

Representative Oliver Hall (IND.)

With the bill failing the legislature, its likely that we won’t see another attempt to pass a broad inquiry commission for the next few months.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. William Benning

    October 2, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    Of course, they don’t want investigations on themselves. They will go after the innocent and hide their own guilt.

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