As is always the case, week one was very light on bills to be heard in the full House. It takes a little time for bills to work their way through the process. That’s not to say we didn’t have very many bills sent to committee because, there were quite a few. Over 3000 placeholders have been submitted but not all will become bills. A placeholder is often submitted just in case the topic of the submission would be needed later in the session.
I had two bills that were pre-introduced by the Office of Public Defender. They were heard in committee on Friday and will probably be voted on sometime next week. If they pass out of committee I will be presenting them to the full house shortly after that. Often times a bill brought by a department just changes a work or two but both of these change policy so they are a little more complicated.
The majority of the action this week involved training, from legal to process to procedure. These, for the most part, are done by the staff and they do a great job. We did have a day and a half session concerning Child Protective Services that brought in some high powered speakers that I found very interesting and informative.
I usually carry about four or five bills a session but this year I have eight active and two more in planning stages. If a bill keeps moving in the process the sponsor may have to present it 4 or 5 times to various committees. I have said many times in the past and will continue saying. “If you come to testify on a bill, your testimony is more valuable to us than what we get from the lobbyists and locals that we hear every day”. If you feel strongly about an issue and it is possible for you to make the trip, please do so.
I am chairing a sub-committee in Approps this year. I’m in section C which is Natural Resources and Transportation. That means that we put together the budget for departments like DNRC, DEQ, FWP, AG, and LIVESTOCK. It is a fascinating learning experience if one is interested in how State government works. Much more on that as the weeks go by.
My grandson, Tristan Reno and his friend Nick Mitchell were pages for the House this week. They totally enjoyed the experience and it is something they will remember for the rest of their lives. Pages need to be Juniors or Seniors and be able to miss a week of school so if any Freshmen or Sophomores are interested in doing it next session I sure would like to talk to them.
If you want to get ahold of me, my email address is on the CONTACT PAGE – or call or text me at 951-6764. Your input is appreciated. Thank you.