After experiencing the pomp and circumstance of the inauguration and related festivities, it wasn't long before that memory was a memory. As a new legislator, I aimed to participate in as many inaugural events as possible. It was advice well taken to attend these events. I'm glad I had the opportunity to see this side of things; we have a wonderful country and state, and this attention to the importance of what we will be engaging in was a great way to start my service. As you know, I would have to be elected two more times to be involved in this level of celebration.
Nevertheless, I was pleased to have been able to experience the traditions and reverence for our system and processes and to do so while enjoying the company of family as well. But like I said, the memory quickly became a memory as we hit the ground running on Monday the 9th. The days and activities have only sped up. Members of the Capitol who have experienced it before have shared an eerie feeling that we've been here for longer than we have. It's a testimony to the people eager to make positive changes and the numerous pieces of legislation ready to go, waiting in the wings.
You'll be happy to hear that there is a very collegial environment at the Capitol, as much as possible, while everyone is rushing around. There is a sense of purpose, and to a certain extent, whether you "agree" or "agree to disagree" with others' positions, there is an acceptance that we are all acting in the best interest of our constituent base. Be assured that this is heavy on my mind as every proposal and vote takes place.
Now would be the perfect time to stop and smell the roses, journal these experiences, and soak it all in. But as I explained in my previous blog, my two committees and the associative workload will keep me hopping along rather busily. Although this may be the case, I was given a journal as a gift from Senator Anthon - something he and his wife put together for fellow senators; it was a lovely gesture of the Majority Leader. Additionally, I was asked by Pro Tempore, Chuck Winder, to be a part of an early morning Bible study on Wednesdays. My JFAC responsibilities send me to committee earlier than most. Still, I figured that the essential way to begin my day is by acknowledging God's kingdom and His authority over all. I was pleased I made this small sacrifice to get up even a little earlier, and I will do so through the rest of the session.
A lot is going on, but I am intent on moving forward with every ounce of my being to accomplish what I campaigned on and to get meaningful legislation across the finish line. As I explained in my previous blog, most of my bills will reflect the product of the 108 agency budget motions. There will come a time when I will be reaching out to seek testimony, especially for the "Patient Right to Visitation" bill. So, if you are affected by the inability to visit with a loved one(s) or know someone who was, I would love to hear from you. As it turns out, I got a print hearing on this bill in the form of RS 30001, passed in the Health & Welfare Committee. I suggest making a few edits/amendments before it is ready for a full hearing in committee. Still, I am happy to be working with some very talented legislators who have put time into similar legislation – I'll keep you posted.
We live in exciting times; our political system is not immune from the noise, disruptions, and distractions of the media and those who would like to see this country and state fail. Please pray for our courage and steadfastness as I and many others participate in this battle, one that is well worth fighting for.
God bless America,