Monday, January 09, 2006

Session starts today

The Senate/House staff reception on Friday was a lot less formal than expected. With a sparkling disco ball, tons of pizza, loud music and unlimited alcoholic beverages, the atmosphere reminded me more of a college bar of sorts, more than a government sponsored reception. Not that I know what a college bar looks like, nor care to for that matter. All else aside though, the reception was an excellent opportunity to meet a few of the other interns and session aids with whom I will be working with. One thing of interest to find out was how far most of the interns had traveled to get to Olympia. Some where Yakima, Bothell, Pullman and other far distanced corner areas of the state. Also what I found surprising was the amount of money these college interns were paying to rent rooms and basements in people’s houses near the Capitol, the average price ranging around $500 a month! It just made me thankful that I still lived nearby.

Today is the start of a new day, a new experience and a new legislative session for Washington. I’m not sure exactly what all that this entails, but I most defiantly will find out soon. This session my Senator will be pushing some very interesting legislation, the most note worthy of which will be Jessica’s Law. You may have heard about the young Florida girl who returned from church with her parents one night only to be snatched from her bed later that evening by a man already convicted of kidnapping, rape and arson, only serving about 15 years for all offences combined. Jessica was later found dead two weeks later under a porch where she was buried was buried alive, after being raped. This new legislation has already been enacted by the State of Florida and Washington State will hopefully follow their lead in protecting the innocence and even the lives of children. The law would state that even first time sex offenders will be fined with a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison, with the possibility of the death sentence on some cases.
As a staff member of the Senate I am not allowed to lobby in any way for this bill, but wait till I tell you haw I was able to voice my opinion to hundreds of Washingtonians on the way to work.

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