And, just what does a State Rep Do?

Well, just the other day, after sitting through a three hour hearing to determine whether redi-mix concrete is a raw or finished product....and that's an important question if you're paying the truckers that deliver it to a construction site...and attempting, at the same time, to determine a definition of gravel, I decided to tell you just some of the things that go on in the State House life of your Representative.

Sort of a day in the life....so, here goes. Just one day.

The Holyoke Mayor came for a meeting to lobby on the casino issue. The folks who think it' s cruel to let dogs race, brought a flock...herd? litter? what is a group of dogs? a pack?...of greyhounds to the State House to let the canines lobby for themselves. And, at the same time, there was a symphony orchestra playing at the bottom of the grand staircase...and the Community Development organizations from throughout the state were in to lobby for funding in this year's budget and provide a bag lunch.

Same day. Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, spoke to the formal session of the House. If you didn't see my green light flash when the quorum roll call was ordered, it's because the voting machine, once again, failed. The sound system seems fixed, in the House Chamber, but the voting boards aren't. There was a reception following, but I opted to attend one of two hearings I was scheduled to attend.

The hearing was fascinating...shelf vs. unit pricing in grocery stores, acts that would help protect consumers, particularly elderly consumers, from telemarketing fraud. And a pile of other bills in a two-inch thick folder to be studied:..changes in the lemon law, new regulations on the sale or repair of boats, and a lemon law for boats, protection for purchasers of pre-need funerals, safety restraints in shopping carts, draw strings in kids clothes, check cashing privacy, consumer reporting, health spa and health club contracts and regulations.

In between, I turned some recommendations in to the Governor's Office, recommendations for Westfield college and high school students looking for summer work. Sent out 47 letters, replies, bills and information. Tried to find pending legislation regarding tow trucks. Made some appointments and updated my calendar, confirmed a state grant for our School to Work program, sent the tax form the campaign committee has to file to the accountant. Stood with the Governor at a press conference where seven tax cutting attempts were announced. Ate part of the bag lunch.

Oh, and drove both ways, Westfield-Boston-Westfield. Had to stop and fill the tank again, too.

In the evening, I returned calls to constituents who had questions and problems, and had several telephone conversations with the House Chairman of the Conference Committee I was appointed to...the committee that determines what employers will pay in unemployment taxes in the months to come.

Same day...I didn't get to the briefing on violence. I didn't get to give my speech to the Air National Guard luncheon. I didn't attend a press conference about riverfront development. And I never did get to the State Administration Committee hearing.

But I did pay for my Girl Scout cookies. Then I ate half a box, all by myself. The chocolate peanut butter kind.>

All materials copyright 1997 - 2014