This was the first week when life in the legislature started its real work with real sessions. The learning was voluminous and profound. There are people to know, protocols to follow, and traditions to understand. The amount of printed material has already filled a box, and more is yet to come, I'm sure.
There were several "Legislative Breakfasts," and while I am not able to attend them all, I was able to attend some. I can see that these are the ways that separate and organized constituents get to speak to their legislators.
At the same time, there were some evening meetings. I was able to attend the Lewiston Consumer Council System of Maine regarding the consumers of mental health services. This meeting was important to attend, and as a community we will be needing to address mental health consumer's needs in a more proactive and concerted way.
Here are the links for the Calendars of the House for the week.
that I post lots on calendars. Feel free to check the calendar to
the left or to the MaineNet Events Calendar - located at - Maine
Committee Work this Week
Please see this
link to read about the Education and Cultural Affairs work
Bills this week.
First, here is a link to all sponsored legislation.
I did sponsor and submit one bill this week. You can find its description and link below. My concern is that students who are preparing to be teachers in Maine need to have a core of curriculum materials and experiences. While each individual campus of the university system can maintain its individuality, we live in a geographically diverse state and students from one area of the state should be able to have quality student teaching experiences in any part of the state.
We also need to attract and retain quality young people who are interested in the teaching profession. Finally, because we live in the 21'st century, we should be able to share content, experiences, and reflections across the state with ease.
We have a ways to go in teacher preparation. Finally, when a teacher makes a commitment to the field, and then a commitment to Maine,we should find a way to reduce, minimize, or reimburse college loans and tuition.
vote this week to create a Joint Standing Committee on the Marijuana
Implementation. This was my first real legislative vote. The issue,
like any issue, was complex. My vote was in part determined by two
concerns. First, the legislature should be the first agency involved
in rule making - and that rule making was initially reserved for the
executive branch. This means that the legislature will do the very
best job possible to follow up on the people’s expressed will to
legalize recreational marijuana.
Second, we can not take lightly the legalization of recreational marijuana, despite what the enthusiasts say. In Maine, we want to do this correctly the first time and the current bill is laden with pitfalls. Better that we take a moment or two to study and understand rather than years of revisionist legislation. Let's be prudent - especially with things we don’t fully understand.
Kindly remember that I'm still working out some kinks as I write and prepare these updates. If you have suggestions, please feel free to send a note or make a comment.