Whew! If the 2nd half of the legislative session goes by this quickly we’ll be done before I can catch up. This point is called transmittal break, which means no more new bills, and all the ones in progress have to be voted on by the 45th day, which is now passed. If a bill didn’t make it to the floor it is finished for this term. Now the bills trade sides, the Senate and House swap bills and the process of hearing and voting starts again.
The hectic pace of voting and getting all the bills through the House made for quite a load the past few days, nerves a little frayed and emotions on edge as sensitive legislation was discussed. There were a few tears, sometimes pleading words and even a few shouts of “You must pass this..!” A couple of times the gavel quickly restored quiet. For two days we heard and voted on bills from mid morning to just before 6:00 the last night. Takes a heck of a lot of wiggling to stay in your seat that long.
Money, going into the 2nd half of the session, will be the main issue that will get a lot of press coverage. At the epicenter is the simple question, do we increase our spending because we have a revenue increase coming, or do we give some back to where it came from, the taxpayers? Across the state we seem to slightly favor holding the line on spending and doing what we can to protect ourselves from the increased costs and taxes coming from our federal side.
And on the lighter side, sound effects from a bill presenter can make a lasting impression. The Representative from Townsend is really good…. One day we heard his version of the sound of a rifle without a sound suppressor… KAPOW— followed in a few minutes by the sound with… KAPOW!! He made his point effectively…not much difference. Then another day, in response to a bill that proposed limiting the number of times and length of time a train whistle can sound while going through a town… woooo —- woooo!! The bill passed unanimously.
Ed Greef, HD 90