Monday, February 18, 2013
General Session 2013 : Week 3 - Serenading and Scrimmaging
The week began slowly at first. We had an 8am Political Subdivisions committee meeting Monday which I chaired. I think we all needed to do a few laps around the Capitol first to warm up and get our blood flowing. You can listen to that committee meeting HERE and HERE.
Monday was also a special day for another reason. I asked my intern to bring the acoustic guitar I keep in my office to the House Floor.
I apparently did something no one has ever done before and sang the day's social calendar announcements. You can WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. The response was positive. However, it seems that the next day everyone expected it to happen again; and, when it didn't, the praise I received before turned to disapprobation.
So, as a treat, I sang everyone a ballad/social announcement on Valentines Day. You can WATCH THE VIDEO HERE.
This week also saw some of our first rancorous debates on the House Floor:
HB 13 - Protection of Children Riding in Motor Vehicles - This bill makes it illegal to smoke in a car if children are in the vehicle. I spoke in opposition to this bill on grounds that we should educate rather than regulate. The provision is highly difficult to enforce and the bill makes a violation a secondary offense...for now. You can watch the debate HERE. The bill passed by a margin of just three votes and now goes to the Senate.
HB 50 - Dating Violence Protection Act - This bill received a lot of media attention. There was also a lot of vocal opposition on the House Floor. You can watch the 45 minute marathon deliberation HERE. I voted for this bill.
HB 70 - Railroad Museum Authority Amendments - This bill had a last minute hiccup and nearly died in technical limbo. A senior Representative questioned the language in a Senate amendment (it was confusing language). However, the language, despite its less than perfect prose, was technically correct and so we will likely send it to the governors desk on Monday for signatures. You can watch the floor drama HERE.
HB 93 - Traffic Violations Amendments - This bill passed unanimously out of the House last week. It seems that passage peaked the interest of some insurance and civil liability people who began to find problems in the bill language. There is nothing like passing a bill to stir up interested parties. So, we took a second look at our language and substituted the bill in the Senate. The new bill places the burden of compliance of the provision on the courts rather than on law enforcement officers. The effect is the same, but we believe this new method will provide better justice, both criminally AND civilly. This bill is being heard on the Senate Floor this week.
HB249 - Refugee Service Funds Amendments - This bill is sitting on the Governor's desk awaiting a signature.
SB 53 - Intergenerational Welfare Reform - This bill passed the Senate and is on the House calendar to be presented by me and heard this week.
It is a short week but we double our Floor time hours starting on Thursday. The tempo of debate will start to increase and patience will start to wear thinner. Look for more interesting debates this coming week.
If you have any concerns you can always EMAIL ME.