Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lobbying the Legislature

(Stopping for a picture with a female legislature and her mother)

Monday of last week, I got a call at 2:00 pm to speak to the House Health & Human Resources Committee on my legislative agenda, platform, and things that as Miss West Virginia I felt could be amended or added in order to make WV a safe place for children to grow up.  The only catch was they wanted me in Charleston, 45 minutes away from home, by 4:00 pm.   Even though it was 2:00 pm in the afternoon I was still on the Miss America schedule and had not yet taken a shower! YIKES!
After showering in .2 seconds, blowing dry my hair, putting the curlers in, throwing on a "stylish suit’"and running out the door with makeup in hand, I jumped in the car on my way to Charleston to present. While doing my makeup in the car and driving at the same time (hope the cops aren't reading this) I tried to wrap my mind around a way to EFFECTIVELY convey my legislative agenda.  Arriving to the Capitol 10 minutes early, I ran to the nearest bathroom in my flats, teased my hair (like every pageant girl), put on my heels and walked out like I had been ready all day….just waiting on a call:)

Before presenting, I was able to see many of my old legislative friends.  In college and upon graduation, I was able to serve at the WV State Legislature for two consecutive sessions as an legislative analyst and intern.  Tiffany Lawrence, former Miss West Virginia, now serves her county as an elected official to the House of Delegates.  She and her fiancĂ© were both in attendance, as well as many of the other legislators and lobbyists I had had the privilege of knowing.
For the rush of getting there and getting ready, the presentation went surprisingly well and I was asked to present to the Senate Health & Human Resources Committee members last week as well. Currently, with the help of Delegate Mitch Carmichael, a bill is being drafted proposing that social workers in the State of West Virginia be given a $5,000 raise. With there being 400 workers in total, that equals out to about $2,000,000, but hey, when a turnpike toll worker taking $2.00 makes more than someone protecting our children, what is $2,000,000 when our future is at stake?
This coming week, I will be spending each and every day getting other lawmakers to sign onto the bill and working it so that it pass through both the House and Senate committees and the floor.
Senate Health & Human Resources Interns

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