Now the elections are over and everyone is in place, pending committee assignments, the jockeying began. There were two main contenders for speaker with two other well qualified and very fine people who were lesser known running. The vote was pretty much neck and neck and the first ballot for speaker was inconclusive without the needed majority to win, by 1 vote. The second ballot gave the speaker ship to Bill O’Brian by under 10 votes. Either by 10 or a thousand, Bill was the winner.
Bill had Gene out classed in his ability to communicate to the newly elected freshman; but, reached out to the libertarians. Bill also had some very good people supporting him and one of his secret weapons is Pam Tucker out of Greenland. Anybody that knows Pam knows you don’t let a pretty face hide a cold organizational logic and great communications skills by a warm caring heart that can squeeze you for a vote while asking how your family is doing. She was the secret weapon to victory. Other people saw Pam the way I did and she is now the deputy speaker; good choice Bill.
The interesting part of this election was that the democrats were trying to get Gene Chandler elected speaker because they new he would be less partisan than Bill. Gene rejected their support, which would have put him over the top and speaker, to his credit.
One of the issues we have to keep in mind is the democrats left standing after the last election are mostly comprised of the left wing loonies from safe voting districts. These are the least easy of any democrats to deal with. There is probably no reason to reach out to them because of the huge republican majority; but, it would be the right thing to do. I suspect the reaching out will not be without limits.
The usual number of bills filed during the first filing session is about 1200, there is a projection and only a guess, there will be about 1800 which are crazy. We have some freshman putting in about 20 bills dealing with a variety of social issues; get out the Advil.
The very process that we have to work with will be working against us. With all the social bills in we will have to take those first because the budget bills always come in last because of the lengthy hearings, department presentations and general discussions takes the majority of time for the first session. It is not easy to find where to cut almost a billion dollars out of a 12 billion dollar budget (very time consuming).
So that is pretty much what we are facing and the tasks will be daunting. We can do it with your help, input and guidance.