The session so far has been a blast. I could probably be more professional in my analysis of the my time here by using terms such as informative, interesting, exiting, and rewarding. But then again, I’ve been writing that way for the past four weeks, and it’s kind of refreshing to sometimes tone down your writing… on occasion.
Our big push this year is Jessica’s law, and other such legislation which addresses the national phenomena of an alarmingly growing sexual offender population, which is an issue that I believe, deserves everyone’s consideration. Recently I was on the road to work listening to a local talk radio station. The hosts where talking about what should be the focus of this years legislative session. I called up and was put on the air soon thereafter. “Many people don't realize how vulnerable their children are in these days, and I believe that our State legislature in particular should be producing stronger laws and placing tougher sentences on sex offenders so that the innocence of our children here in Washington might be protected." The host paused and replied that this was a very big issue that needs to be addressed and thanked me for the call. Though I am restricted from lobbying for bill while at work I’m sure not bound by that law on the way to work! Of course if I get fired on behalf of the ethics committee I’ll be forced to think other wise.
I have been flooded with questions from family and friends and so I have listed the most common questions below and will update the list in the future.
How do you get to the Capitol? I drive.
How long is the commute? 15 minutes
How long is the 2006 legislative session? 60 days
What special privileges come with the job? Invitation to all Senatorial receptions, admission to closed caucus sessions, special elevator and Senate chamber access.
What do you do at the capitol? Answer calls, reply to constituent emails, open all snail mail, do research on other government officials for specific reasons, draft speeches and press releases, deliver bills to the “Hopper” to be officially recognized the following day as a newly dropped bill, and fulfill whatever duties the legislative assistant or the Senator might present.
What is the dress code? Suite and tie are required. Security will not allow anyone without such to be admitted into the Senate chamber offices or near the floor.
What are your hours? 8-5, Monday thru Friday on normal days, but have been notified that committee and floor actions may extend well into midnight on some nights and may even extend into the weekends, though there is no paid over-time!
What have you learned so far? That not all government officials are at the Capitol to further cultivates their egos. Those constituents are number one priorities to most Senators, and that they respond to every enquiry from the people of their districts.
How is security set up at the Capitol? The Capitol security consists of State Troopers and retired military personnel who are stationed throughout the campus.