The Poky Little Pundit

Teach me how to track a bill!

5 Comments

Last week, I received an email from someone in ‘The District’ informing school personnel that ‘they’ are reviewing our Internet usage, compiling the data into reports, and sending it to our principals broken down by department and individual. Apparently, the district is exceeding bandwidth because people are using Google and Pandora too often.

This amused me so much that I forwarded the email to a few friends. And because I didn’t even know we could access Pandora, I immediately logged on. What is it about this nanny mentality that provokes an absurd kind of rebellion in people? Rather than talking to the few individuals who are perhaps spending too much time listening to music (gasp!), we receive a thinly veiled threat: We will hunt you down, music lovers! How dare you play music for those miserable youngsters? 

Despite this and other sundry shit teachers must endure, I have decided to stick with teaching. I know, I know. What can I say? Quitting teaching is like abandoning an ugly, annoying child. I know I shouldn’t love it, but I just do. I wish I didn’t. I wish I wanted to spend all day in an office, making boatloads of cash while sipping lattes and googling ex-boyfriends. But no. I am willingly going back to a badly paid job with no chance of better pay where I cannot find the time to pee and where I am told I must not listen to music. And people wonder why teachers are so weird. 

Make no mistake, fans: This does not mean that I am abandoning my attempt to enter politics, though I feel obliged to state yet again how disappointingly unglamorous Olympia was. Legislators have just about the hardest, most boring, most underpaid job ever – and this is coming from a teacher.

I made time in my schedule last week, during my visit to Olympia, to meet WA state Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles – a woman who has made enormous progress on many issues dear to my heart, including human trafficking. Unfortunately it was right when I was scheduled to testify, which is how I found myself running up and down the stairs to her office every five minutes to see if I could re-schedule. At 3:15, our allotted time, she wasn’t there. At 3:30, she wasn’t there. At 3:40, I may have fallen down the stairs a wee bit. At 3:45, I talked to her (secretary? page? assistant?) and finally settled down to wait for her. 

Me and Jeanne Kohl-Welles. Not the best photo ever - can't get the assistants these days.

Me and Jeanne Kohl-Welles. Not the best photo ever – can’t get the assistants these days.

At 4:00, I was rewarded with a brief but interesting conversation with Ms. Kohl-Welles. She explained that she had been up since 4:30 am and would be working until 9 that night. I, for one, am truly grateful that good people such as she (correct grammar?) are working hard for us. She gave me many suggestions of organizations to investigate and perhaps join, such as the National Organization of Women, the Center for Women and Democracy, and Win With Women (not sure if there is a more up to date link – this one is specific for 2012). For people who live in my area, the 36th District Democrats provide an immediate link to the legislature. 

But let’s get back to HB 5292. Since attending the hearing, I am fully invested in tracking the bill’s progress through – well, whatever our system is. I REALLY want to know whether or not it passes, so how on earth do I find out about Senate Bill 5292 or House Bill 1457 (its companion bill)? I mean, I’m pretty smart and generally good at research, even if I did go to college in the age of microfiche. If anyone has any reliable sites I could go to or ways I could find out online, please, please share. It seems rather pathetic that someone who truly wants to find out what is happening in our government cannot do so easily. Shouldn’t it be as simple as Googling?

Of course, I will have to wait until I get home to do that, because teachers aren’t allowed to Google. Obvs. 

 

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5 thoughts on “Teach me how to track a bill!

  1. For tracking Washington State bills, go to http://www.leg.wa.gov/pages/home.aspx and click on “Bill Information” — then enter the 4 digit bill number.

  2. Fab.

  3. Hi Mom! Thanks for your comment – I have actually been using that site, but it doesn’t show you the progress of the bill (or at least I don’t see that). I want to know when they are going to make a decision and say what happened to it. Any way to find that out?

  4. I work in an office, so I took the liberty of googling for you (in between lattes). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a good answer – I only found the history, but no upcoming key dates. I would send an email to Senator Kohl-Welles (or her assistant) to inquire about the status and next steps. Let us know what you hear!

  5. I was trying not to bug her…but perhaps I will! No one has come up with any solutions so far. I don’t really want to just wait and read about it in the news (if they even report on in).

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