Just so you’ll know…..you, the taxpayers, spent $50,000 yesterday to mess with public education once again.
Yes, I am frustrated with the spirit of what is being done and find it hard to believe that the only thing we accomplished all day and night was to keep NCAE members from being able to voluntarily have their dues taken out of their salary checks. Is this any way to represent our constituents? Here’s the story.
The House of Representatives convened at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 4 to consider the governor’s veto of SB 9, which basically repealed the Racial Justice Act. That is the only thing that should constitutionally have been considered before the body. We were called to order at 2:10, had a prayer, pledged allegiance to the flag, extended the courtesy of the gallery to a team of national champion peewee cheerleaders from Leland, heard a eulogy for Harley Gaston of Belmont who passed away recently and then recessed until 4:00 while the Senate debated SB 9.
At 4:15 we were called into order briefly; then recessed until 6:30. At 7:00 we were again convened. Trudy Walend was sworn in to replace Rep. Guice who resigned to take a state job. The Racial Justice Act was sent to a study committee. At least it wasn’t repealed. This should have concluded the business and we should have been sent home. Instead, we were recessed until 9:30. We actually reconvened at 11:00 p.m. with another agenda and another prayer. The House passed a joint resolution to welcome home Vietnam vets by a 111-0 vote. It was a nice thing to do, but too little too late for too many of the vets who served us a generation ago. Then we adjourned until 12:01 a.m. at which time we had another prayer and passed a joint resolution to adjourn.
At 12:55 a.m. we reconvened, had a prayer and voted on the governor’s veto of the dues check off for school employees (NCAE) which passed along party lines. The override of this veto takes away the ease of paying dues to a professional organization. Really?! Is this what we elected our representatives to do? Are we really supposed to do the business of the people in the wee hours of the night when at least one member has had to go home because he was ill to begin with and could not withstand the long, unnecessary hours? Are we really supposed to vote on items which are not publically announced at a time when the public is not likely to be present? Surely it is time to quit playing games – even if this is what “they did to us.” Let’s grow up!
The good news is that they didn’t have the votes to override fracking or Voter ID; I was able to get in a few hours of work on constituency issues; and the General Assembly will not convene again until Feb. 16.