Thursday, March 31, 2011
Sadly there was no session in the senate today, there will be one tomorrow though. The house session was a long one and they talked about bathrooms. I wasn't in the house but I hear Speaker Smith had quite a funny comment about his bathroom saying Speaker, not men or women. We got pictures taken of us with the governor today and had certificates presented to us saying how we did a great job as pages. Representative Turner, the minority leader in the house, bought us pizza and drinks today for lunch. Representative Komline, the assistant to Representative Turner , bought us two boxes of donuts for breakfast. We made some thank you notes for some reps and senators and Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott is going to buy us all breakfast tomorrow! One day left and it's the day we get to be announced in both the house and senate!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The house and senate combined today for a joint session where they voted on judges in the Vermont Supreme Court. There was about four votes I think, I'm not sure, anyway all of the votes were complete blowouts. It wasn't really that exciting in the house today, moved a few bills to third reading and that's really it. One thing I somehow forgot to mention about yesterday was that the Ambassador from Iraq was here and made a speech in the house. It was an interesting speech about Iraq and what the country is really like. Today wasn't too exciting but tomorrow we are meeting with the governor and I'm excited for that. I accidentally skipped blogging on friday of last week and I don't really remember it, all I know is I left early and it was probably a good day! Two days left and I'm going to make the best of them!
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Today was actually quite eventful. I was in the house and even though there was only one thing on the calendar it still went for about an hour. Luke interviewed the governor today about Vermont Yankee for a school project. Dylan, Luke, and I met with Representative Young at noon and he took us to the underground tunnel outside the state house. We had wanted to go for a while and didn't even knew if the tunnel under the state house lawn existed. He took us outside, probably not were we should've been, and we got to go in the tunnel. It was a really cool experience, it was also interesting to have the Vermont State Spelling Bee champion in the house today. Megan (I don't know the spelling) Clark won the spelling bee and is in sixth grade in Vermont. She'll go to the national bee in May. It was a fun day and a great start to my last week!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I, along with Dylan, Alyssa, and Lindsey, worked in the house chamber today for about six hours. Usually I would've been very excited about this but there was a very few amount of notes. Dylan and I were in the card room for only about an hour. It was still a good day even though there weren't a lot of notes. They'll probably be more tomorrow, hopefully. I'm still loving The Hunger Games and can't put it down, in fact i'm going to go read. Hopefully tomorrow is more interesting.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Legislative Council again today, really getting hooked on The Hunger Games and can't put the book down. Used my iPod a lot, did some homework, while the house went on and on. Apparently it was a very busy day but for me I just got a few waves of notes. Notes would come in packs of 5 to 10 but it would be a good hour and a half until another wave came. Some people say, in fact most people say, its the most boring place to be. I really don't mind it though because if I have no messages I can just get lost in my book and read. Tomorrow i'm scheduled for the house and card room. I'm expecting a very busy day and a very long house session, like today for some pages.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The notes for room 45 have finally seemed to come to a stop. The senate was predicted to go all day today but it surprisingly was quite a short session. I had my first day in Legislative Council today and my last is tomorrow. I got four different math assignments done and read a lot of my book, I was also allowed to use my iPod in my seat at the council. It was a good day because I did what I had to do and got a lot of work done. The house is definitely getting into the swing of things, the sessions are now consistently two hours at the least. The state house is really up and running now and i'm really glad to be a part of it.
Room 45, again, again, and again. You would think they would slow down considering they voted on H.202 yesterday but now they are about different bills and other things. The house was in session for about four hours today which is unusual for a friday. Not much to say about the day today, I left about 45 minutes early. It was my last full day at the Sergeant-At-Arms office and it was a good one. Only two weeks left on the job and I'm predicting they'll be two very busy ones.
Today was St. Patrick's Day and Representative Donaghy wore lime green pants! There was a number of other legislators that wore green as well, among them was Donald Milne (Clerk of the House) who wore a lime green blazer and tie. The jokes rolled on in room 45 today as getting adopted from Representative Eckhardt was mentioned. Today there was a U.S. Marine's body that was killed in Afghanistan driven by. Pretty much the whole state house was outside honoring what this marine from Vermont did for our country. I was in the Sergeant-At-Arms office all day and tomorrow will be the last time I'm there all day. You can almost feel a sense of urgency coming up in the state house which should only make the rest of my time here better.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The session in the senate today was about an hour and they scheduled to go on the floor tomorrow even though a lot of the time they don't have sessions on Thursday's. There were lots and lots of notes for room 45 today, the house committee on health care. Apparently they are voting on H.202 tomorrow and lots of health places are having people call in trying to get reps to change their minds. These people don't even know who they're talking too they just say I want this message to go to "so and so" and it either says to support this bill are it says to just say no. It was funny because I had to give about 6 or so messages to Larson talking about the bill. After a while the committee was getting so many messages they started to make jokes like saying, "Oh look, another love letter!" It was entertaining every time I got a note for that room and it made it a pretty fun day.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The Senate Chamber was were I was working today and it was a surprisingly long one hour and twenty minute session. It was a fun session because it was busy and there was a lot of interrogating. One particular senator got interrogated by four different people and another senator was quite the interrogator, they really knew the right questions to ask. It looks as if it will be another long session tomorrow. The other thing I took out of the day was actually quite comical. Two representatives (no names will be said) thought someone they had lunch with was sleeping at a desk in the house. So, one of these reps decided to shoot a rubber band at the sleeper, the rubber band hits this person and all you needed to hear when he got up was, " Oh my, thats not Sam! I'm so sorry!" It was pretty funny considering two reps had hit a random sleeping person with a rubber band! I'd have to mark that as the funniest thing i've seen so far as a page. By the way, the two reps thought it was pretty funny too.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Today I had two very interesting things that occurred. The first was that I was told to get a message at the governor's office over in the pavilion. Amanda (another page) and I went and she thought we were lost because I didn't know what door to go in. We eventually found the right place and got up to the governor's office just in time to see someone I know come out of the door. Mrs. Kunin, who I knew, gave us a tour through the whole governor's office which consists of multiple rooms. It was a fun experience and I'm glad we got the tour. The other event was that they didn't have a quorum in the house which was pointed out by a representative. I hadn't ever seen this before and the doorkeepers had to go round up some extra reps to be able to have a session. Well, I thought that was a pretty interesting day and I hope you did too.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
It was pretty surprising how busy it was today considering I was running notes around while I noticed it was 4:30, usually there are never notes that late in the day. It was a pretty average day so i'd like to take this blog post to say how great my host family has been and how we went to a Norwich hockey game today. It was a fun game and Norwich (who the Barber's were rooting for) sailed through the game winning five to one. Today I brought three different messages to Senator Benning so I got three maple candies! Today was pretty fun because I got a lot of messages and hopefully Montpelier doesn't flood tomorrow.
In the house there was a lot of controversy about deer hurting forests and land, there was also a lot of talk about not paying taxes when ordering from an online store that does not have actual stores such as Amazon or Zappos. The interesting thing about these two subjects was that it was the first time I had ever really heard more than three nay's. There was a chorus of nay's after the aye's and I was actually pretty shocked even though the aye's were really still overpowering. One other thing I am told by my fellow pages was that a ridiculous amount, about 400 people, were protesting about budget cuts concerning mental health. So, really it was quite an exciting day and I had a lot of fun.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
It was great to be back on the job today and luckily I was in the house chamber. The bad news was that it was a short session, 25 minutes i'd say. An interesting thing that I got to do was start the pledge of allegiance. The speaker introduced me and I said "I pledge" the rest of my voice was drowned out by the representatives. I also had my first experience in the card room (my secondary job) and it went well. It's pretty much where the messages go if no one else can deliver them. One other thing i'd like to mention is that Governor Shumlin is on vacation which means Phil Scott is Governor, doesn't really affect me though. All went well and it's good to be back.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The Friday before break was a really slow day. The roads were icy and the amount of legislators that showed up at the state house was very low. All of us, pages, were allowed to leave early and I ended up getting taken home to my host house at about 12:20. My dad picked me up after I had a good two hours playing Fifa 11 against Luke, another page who is my housemate; that game is awesome! There wasn't anything very exciting about Friday so I'm going to use this entry as a summary of my first two weeks.
My first two weeks have been a lot to take in but at the same time they've been a lot of fun. The names and faces of all the legislators and others that I have to learn have come pretty quickly for me so it's getting better and better. I'm really glad they offer this program and I think pages are very useful delivering messages, but they could easily get more work done if they just texted or emailed each other. I think the reason they keep pages is because of the tradition and my mom thinks it's because they like to introduce young people in the state house.
A few things I have really enjoyed are the food, how nice everyone is, and how easy it is to find your way around in the state house. I was allowed to go up into the golden dome with the other pages and we all signed our names. We even saw a signature from 1913.
The view from the top of the dome was great and the whole town looked beautiful. I am settling in very well and cannot believe two weeks are already gone! I'm hoping I don't forget all of the names I have learned and am really excited to get back to Montpelier.