Our Views: If children could vote

If kids could vote, would that be better or worse for democracy under adults? We don’t know the answer to that question, but we do know one thing: If kids could vote, the Legislature would not be in the process of abolishing the Department of Children and Family Services, merging it with another agency.

Why are lawmakers even thinking along these lines? Because elderly people do vote, in larger numbers than those 18 to 65, and there is not now a Department of Elderly Affairs. There’s an Office of Elderly Affairs, but in the relentless pandering to voting blocs that is called a legislative session, “office” is not dignity enough.

Since that pesky Louisiana Constitution requires that there be no more than 20 state departments, one has to go over the side. Which one? The one that is, as the bureaucrats say, least impactful to voters.

The only good news is that the House-passed bill to squoosh Children and Family Services into the Department of Health and Hospitals got some opposition in the chamber, with it passing only 69-28.

At least a few members saw that this ultra-political “reorganization” would be less than optimal. For one thing, the two old departments do have some overlapping responsibilities, as people’s health needs usually have some impact on families.

But instead of dealing with the substance of those issues, the bill by Rep. Joe Harrison, R-Napoleonville, would simply create a two-headed monster of the departments of Health and Hospitals and Children and Family Services. The two old departments would continue as they are, but the nameplates of the bureaucrats in charge would be adjusted, instead reporting to “deputy secretary” heads of each side of the new place.

It’s a childlike response to an organizational issue raised only by political hacks in the Legislature.

If kids could vote, they’d turn these jokers out in a landslide.