Wenzel Cummings resigned as the Legislature's code counsel after one year, and some very important issues have surfaced regarding the relationship between the Legislative Research Council (LRC) and the state Legislature.
We're not an insider of either organization, but it is no secret to those who follow the Legislature that these issues need to be resolved.
Cummings told the Legislature's Executive Board that he's resigning because of legislators' mistreatment of Legislative Research Council staff. Legislators have increasingly tried to use the nonpartisan LRC in partisan battles.
"At the end of the day, it wasn't worth it because of the treatment that this office is subjected to on a consistent basis by the members of this Legislature and most notably this last session, from the Senate," he said.
We've heard a number of stories that are consistent with Cummings' statements. While we suspect that some legislators have always tried to use questionable tactics to win legislative battles, we think the recent treatment of the LRC has gone way too far.
Turnover among LRC staff is higher than it should be simply due to the treatment by legislators. Morale suffers, and eventually performance takes a hit.
The Executive Board did seem to recognize the issues raised by Cummings and actually apologized to him for how he was treated. The next step will be to make substantive changes among all legislators to rebuild the relationship
-- Jon M. Hunter