"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Balancing Act

I can identify myself as "the one" without thinking of my three closest friends, all of whom are exceptionally balanced.

Yesterday was a busy day, starting with the weekly Chairs and Vice Chairs meeting at 8:30.

At 10 o'clock our committee held a public hearing on our one really controversial bill...such a large crowd turned out that we tranferred from our committee room to Representatives Hall. (As we did a couple of years ago on a similarly controversial bill.) Counting those who signed their names in opposition, the handful in favour, and the folks who drifted in and out of the chamber, interested parties probably numbered around 200. Maybe as many as 40 people testified, nearly all in opposition.

Another "first" for me--when the Chairman stepped out for a little while, I chaired the hearing from the Speaker of the House's podium. Nice view from up there. I never needed that giant gavel, but I did flip the little toggle switch back and forth to turn on and off the Speaker's microphone. Most of the time I sat on the incredibly comfy upholstered bench on the platform where House Counsel normally sits, which also has a good view of most of the chamber.

The hearing lasted 2 and a half hours. The Chap showed up as we finished, he was monitoring bills in another committee today.

In the afternoon we held executive sessions on 4 bills, including the bill we heard in the morning (killed, unanimously.) I didn't leave the Capitol till 4:30.

All bills that were referred to our committee have now been acted upon. Doesn't look like we'll get any Senate bills. The next phase of our work will be reviewing the Fish & Game Department Performance Audit, meetings with the Commissioners and Department, and committee continuing ed., aka "field trips"!

Today, we expect a long, long House Session, because we must report out all early bills before tomorrow.

We also expect a snowstorm. Because, hey, it's Wednesday and a House Session Day, and that's the norm. Fortunately the brunt of the foul weather is coming overnight. Snowfall guestimate for the Lodge is in the 5-10" range, which seems excessive to me. I feel entirely responsible for the forecast. The other day I complainied that the massive snowbanks on the roadsides are looking dirty and unattractive. What I meant by that was that a dusting would be nice to freshen the snow cover. That's all! Be careful what you wish for....

I've been delinquent in my page quota--yesterday and probably today. I'm entirely unanxious about it. We're nearing the Legislature's Winter Break. (Mine starts tomorrow!) I'll be at leisure until March 4, which is notable for quite a different reason besides being a Session Day. (And, I hope, not a snowy one.) I expect to make up any writing deficits in the coming days.

Perhaps, by the end of my break, I'll be feeling a bit more balanced.

Or not!

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