For Legislators, It's Now Back to Our Regularly-Scheduled Lives
In the three short weeks since the Montana Legislature adjourned, I've been really busy. (Today's Adjournment Plus 23, but who's counting?) I've spoken at four events: I gave a keynote address at our Gallatin County Treatment Court graduation, and gave legislative updates at the League of Women Voters meeting with Rep. Gordon Vance, at the Bozeman Business and Professional Women with Sen. Gary Perry, and solo to a Montana Women Vote meeting.
I've received, as have all of the other legislators, polls from Secretary of State McCulloch on vetoed bills. If a bill is passed by the legislature with more than a two-thirds vote (67+ of 100 votes in the House, 34+ of 50 in the Senate), and the governor vetoes the bill, the veto must be voted on by the legislators. The Secretary of State send the veto, the governor's letter explaining his veto, the bill, and the vote record in each chamber. When I receive the veto packet, I read through the legislation again, go back through my notes on the bill, get online and listen to the committee hearings on the bill, the floor debate, and make my vote to sustain or to override the governor's veto.
The Greater Gallatin Watershed Council has been ramping up its activities, and I serve on the board of directors. We recently got the results of E. coli bacteria sampling on Sourdough/Bozeman Creek, and I designed a pamphlet with the news. It includes recommendations for people to minimize the contamination in the creek, asks for volunteers to continue taking water samples for testing, and warns of the health risks of some types of E. coli bacteria exposure. The pamphlet was distributed at the Watershed Festival this past weekend; I'm honored to serve on the Council board.
In the days since adjournment, I've also reconnected with regular life-stuff. For instance, for the four months during the legislative session, I really didn't go grocery shopping; just picked up a single meal item every once in a while, and very rarely cooked. Almost every evening, there were constituent and interest group events, and almost every legislator attends and eats there. Now I'm grocery shopping again. I'm also catching up on some favorite TV shows, for which I had NO time during the session.
Last weekend, I attended events at the Council of State Governments (CSG)-West conference in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Discussions in which I participated focused on state changes in juvenile detention policies and facilities, transmission line placement for energy access and delivery, and drug and treatment courts.
Family events have come fast and furious, too. Four days after I got home, my niece, Lauren, had her eleventh birthday, and my 91-year-old grandfather visited. Five days later, to Boise for a mini-family reunion (in-laws). Last weekend, I visited my dear cousin Stacey and her family in Spokane. She has a three-year-old daughter, Blythe, and I met her new six-week-old baby boy, Porter.
There's been some real fun these past weeks, too. Music!
Last Wednesday, I saw La Boheme on opening night at the Willson in Bozeman. Wonderful! Last Saturday, to the Columbia River Gorge in George, Washington, a natural amphitheatre venue, to see the Doobie Brothers, the Allman Brothers, and The Dead (which is The Grateful Dead, minus Jerry Garcia, rest his soul). And last night, Lyle Lovett at the Emerson in Bozeman! I love Lyle Lovett! He did an acoustic show and played a bunch of his early stuff, my favorites. His lyrics are really great, band so talented...or is it that I love a pompadour to rival mine?