So, we are back in session and as might be expected, much of the work of the week has been in referring various bills to committee, so legislative sessions tend to be short.
Committee work, on the other hand, has been more involved, and filled with several bills and many reports.
You will find the links to some of these reports below. They are public documents, so feel free to open and download them.
While there are always issues to discuss, perhaps two stand out as worth of further reflection. Representative Erin Herbig has worked with her constituents to submit a bill which would allow veterans to have free admission to the Maine State Museum.
The cost of admission is currently $3.00. What seemed like a simple bill to me was mired in committee discussion for two hours. The discussion revolved around whether this was an emergency bill, or whether it could have been done by the Museum administration without legislative approval.
There was far too much obfuscatory discussion about what was a simple action. I hope it does not portend a divisive session in committee. Let us always look to solutions rather than assigning blame.
The second interesting bill we heard this week had to do with developing defined protocols for intervention in cases involving potential suicide by students at school. The bill was occasioned by the recent events in Lewiston where a youngster took her life last spring.
Having these protocols is a good idea. It’s necessary in any school and the protocols should be developed in conjunction with experts in the field. Yet, I do remember that Mr. Pelletier always told us that the reason for taking attendance was really to check on the welfare of the student. He always told us to call the roll and look at every single student. In that way, we could get a glimpse and sometimes just a glimpse is all it takes to know that something is amiss. And if it’s done five times a day by five different teachers, a glimpse is much more than just a glimpse. Taking attendance every period is a way to guage student welfare. And I wonder if teachers think about that, or are trained in looking for potential student welfare challenges.
The protocols are needed - and good teacher training is needed. Always remember that a school is the largest influence on the life of a child other than the family.
A few interesting links
Daily Meeting Calendar for the House
This is the best way to see all the meetings and events
scheduled in the House.
(Or, use the calendar to the left)
House Legislative Calendars
You can read about the events of the house by clicking on this link.
House Calendar - January 9, 2018
Calendar - January 11, 2018
As always feel free to contact me with qustions or observations.