Last Week of the Legislative Session
Mother’s Day brings up many memories of the last week of the Missouri legislative session. For eight years, it was always the day before the dreaded last week when everything hit the fan. Now that there is some distance between me and my time in the legislature, I am starting to realize how much of it was mere drama being put on for the media and for the sake of fund raising.
Here is a letter I received from a politician:
“It’s about to get ugly.
Those of us who have been on the front lines fighting this disastrous piece of legislation will be mercilessly attacked from every corner of the country.
Chris Mathews’ tingling leg is about to go numb. Rachel Maddow is going to have a cow. And Ed Schultz will probably explode once again.“
Those watching from the side lines are hearing partisan rhetoric, everything is an emergency and bad laws are about to be passed. Take heart. The leadership members from both chambers are aware of what is going to pass and what will fail. There is a considerable amount of begging and pleading for the sake of the show, but, for the most part, the time for public input is over.
The legislature knew all year when session would end, yet the members wait until everything is a crisis to cram as much legislation possible into the end. Some of the priority bills that were pushed at the end were really fund-raising bills done for a special lobbyist or organization wanting unique treatment.
Every salesman knows that having a threat of doom always encourages more sales. The deadline of the last week of session tends to force that, and the end result may be some bad bills. Meanwhile, the citizens sitting at home could be spared the theatrics. The next act in this melodrama will happen in the summer when the governor vetoes the unconstitutional bills.
We sincerely want to believe that those in office have our best interests at heart because they told us that during the election season. Yet, this last week in Jefferson City is all about posturing, lobbyist donations and egos. Some of the elected officials and special interest groups will use these “crises” to ask for more money to send them back to the Capitol to fight off all the bad bills. It’s a proven marketing strategy. But why are we tortured by all these bad bills when the Republicans have a super majority in both chambers of Missouri and have control of the US House?
Therefore, instead of giving you a legislative update this week, I will wait until the legislative dust settles. This will give you a more realistic picture rather than another appeal to “call your legislators.” This week a lot of bills are dying, being resurrected and then dying again. It’s nearly impossible to keep score. If the legislative bodies were motivated by the desire to only pass constitutional legislation, we would be safe, but this is what happens when we go off the standard.
My advice is to not allow all those “panic mongering” e-mail messages disturb your happiness. The planet will continue to revolve with or without all the legislative clamoring, and you will sleep better. The best time to engage in the process is when your activities can elect more constitutional representatives.
Mail to Cynthia
Tonight we will be talking with our constitutional expert, Lloyd Sloan, about Madison’s Lost Amendment, common core curriculum and new gun laws being passed in other states.
Join us from 8-9 tonight by going to:
A Little Bit of Humor…
I know worrying does some good because everything I worry about never happens.