Page from Patsy: Back to Raleigh
Here's the message from Buncombe County Statehouse Rep. (and 10th District congressional candidate) Patsy Keever via her May 18 email newsletter:
A Page from Patsy
I must admit that it is good to be back in Raleigh. It is fun to see colleagues I haven't seen in a long time. It is more satisfying to work face to face with Beth, my legislative assistant, to solve problems for our constituents, instead of just over the phone and through email. It is a joy to talk with friends/constituents from home who come all the way to Raleigh carrying their passion for an issue with them. It is a pleasure to see all the hard-working staff in the Legislative Building who are all so friendly! There is much that is positive here, despite the expected frustrations of trying to change things for the better.
When I arrived in Raleigh on Tuesday afternoon, it was my pleasure to attend the annual ceremony for the fallen State Highway Patrol members who have given their lives in the line of duty. It was an emotional gathering which ended with a 21 gun salute and a white balloon release into the sky. Participating in meaningful rituals which honor our service members is one of the special benefits of being an elected official.
Wednesday, the short session began with a bang and a whimper! The bangs came from the "pots and spoons" protesters, indignant about the passage of Amendment One last week, and the whimper was the amount of work we accomplished in the first two days of the session. Right when I was geared up to get busy on "the people's work," the work wasn't ready for us yet. The disruption in the Speaker's staff has presented a hole in the routine functions, which is understandable. In addition, one of the key leadership members had a death in the family and many colleagues were planning to attend the funeral Thursday. Therefore, many committee meetings were called off and the brief formal sessions in the Chamber served to provide the opportunity to extend the "courtesy of the House" to various school groups and other visitors. The floor sessions will remain largely uneventful until the committee work is complete and the bills can be referred to the full body.
There has also been a bit of good news since we arrived back in Raleigh. A judge has blocked a state law that would have prevented members of the North Carolina Association of Educators from having their dues automatically deducted from their paychecks. Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Gessner ruled the teacher’s association would suffer irreparable harm if the law was enforced and said that NCAE is likely to win its ongoing lawsuit. You may remember that this law was passed on January 5 during a hastily called midnight session when we were in town only to protect or override one of the Governor's vetoes. All's well that ends well. Hope your week end is delightful!