Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The first of many

The first of many
The first of many,
originally uploaded by shainelee.
Tonight was the first of what I expect will be many long days at work. Roughly, it was a 14 hour day. The morning was pretty exciting as we prepared for upcoming appointments and Rep Peña's activities for the day. I kind of got sucked into Committee work earlier than expected, but I suppose the need was there. We did what needed doing.

The hearing ended a while ago, but the committee work is not done. We have to start preparing for next week already. So far, we have over 200 bills in the criminal jurisprudence committee. Given the amount of time available before the end of session, there is no way we can hear all of them. Tonight, the Chairman mentioned setting up subcommittees to allow a hearing for as many bills as possible. I agree that the need is there. What immediately comes to my mind is that it will complicate the process of organizing the hearings. We would have to juggle multiple timetables to perform certain tasks on different days. In addition, the more difficult aspect would be having multiple bosses with the subcommittee chair. I've had this situation before, where there is more than one boss. It's always a recipe for problems. Nobody can serve two masters (or three or four). Still, it must be done. The alternative would be to leave many bills unheard.

In terms of my work, I find myself more and more enmeshed in the committee because of the volume of work headed our way. Consequently, I am becoming less connected with the goings on upstairs. I'm hitting that two masters issue again. If I concentrate more on one job, the other suffers.

I've already got a list of stuff to do tomorrow. If we'd got out of committee earlier, I may have put some work into getting it done. In practical terms, I could have stayed tonight to start on some work, but it is still too early in the session to start burning the candle on both ends. I need to ensure there is enough candle to last through the end of the session.

1 comment:

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I've looked through yall's bill list, and frankly TONS of those enhancement bills probably shouldn't be heard. What's the point? Texas can't afford them and our laws are "tuff" enough. It's irresponsible at this point to just keep jacking up penalties with nowhere to put them and no treatment programs for drunks and addicts.

Most enhancements are not serious, evidence-based proposals. Bills increasing penalties for crimes are to legislators what poetry is to the artist - a written form of self expression. It's a way legislators say, "This is what I stand for. This is what I'm against." Well, who isn't against child molestation? That's hardly the point if jacked up penalties make family members less likely to report crimes.

In 2003 Chairman Keel created a subcommittee for enhancements that simply never met, if I'm not mistaken, or maybe it only met once, and dumped nearly all the penalty increasing bills (except his own!) into its queue, never to return. I'd suggest doing the same thing, perhaps giving Rep. Moreno the honor of chairing it as the committee's senior member. (I think he's been there a session or two longer than Talton.)

Glad you've had a weekend off to clear your head. I did too - a weekend alone with Kathy and a grandbaby. Nice. Suerte amigo!