First, the legislation:
Vacancy Mitigation Act of 2012
1. When a vacancy occurs in the Northeast Assembly, the Governor shall have the power to appoint an Interim Representative.
2. Interim Representatives have the same powers as elected Representatives.
3. Interim Representatives serve until a special election to fill the vacancy is held and a new elected Representative is sworn in.
4. The Assembly may expel an Interim Representative by a majority vote of elected Representatives.
As Speaker of the Assembly and the author of this bill, I highly encourage all Northeastern citizens to vote AYE on its passage.
Vacancies in the Assembly are a common event. Most regular elections see at least one elected representative ascend to higher office, leaving the Assembly to operate with only four members for over a week until a special election can be held.
The alternative - prohibiting Assembly candidates from running for higher office - would rob the Assembly of some of its finest and most active members. Furthermore, it would do nothing to address vacancies that crop up for other reasons (resignations, failures to swear in, or missed votes).
It is critical that the Northeast have a full Assembly at all times to maintain a reasonable level of government activity and guarantee that legislation can be thoroughly debated. A single member represents 20 percent of the Assembly, so his or her absence is acutely felt.