Thursday, October 30, 2008

Moving ahead

So we found out who our new contact/drafter was at the Legislative Council's office, Kate Ferlic. However, Ms. Ferlic has now also departed (temporarily).

A week or so ago we got an email from Rep. Gardner asking if Ms. Ferlic had been in contact with us. Telling us that he is hoping to get it in the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee in November. (Yeah, November. Carin and I were shocked, to say the least. From nothing to committee in less than two weeks.)

Rep. Gardner had a "long conversation" with her a few weeks ago about the bill. He was under the impression that she had completed it and it was simply waiting in her files.

Today I got a call from Michael Hely. He is now our contact/drafter. According to the first call of the day, he had no completed bill and no permission from Rep. Gardner to actually work on a bill. That effectively put us back to square one. Rep. Gardner has now had to "give permission" to three different people. I was frustrated to say the least. I told Mr. Hely that a similar piece of legislation had been passed and vetoed in 2007, that's when he said "Oh, that's what I have in front of me." So, really back to square one.

Later in the day Mr. Hely called again to talk about the Wish List I had sent to Ms. Ferlic. Clarifying, answering questions, getting things straight. All good things.

Fingers crossed, we get the bill drafted and are able to review it in plenty of time for it to get into the HHS committee. One of the reasons to get it into committee now is to get the bill a low number. A low number on the bill means it is heard sooner in the regular session and has a greater chance of making it through both the House and the Senate committees and getting passed.

So that is where we stand right now. I hope to have more to report in the next week or so.

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