I’ve been working 16 hours a day the last few months, so I knew taking a day off would throw a monkey wrench into my life for the next few days. It was an important trip though, so Monday night Reagan and I headed to Austin to spend the day at the State Capitol yesterday. She had the honor of being an Honorary Page for the State House, and Gio was kind enough to watch over her with one eye as she spent her time on the floor while he was gathering support for the bills he has filed. Not a lot going on in the chamber yesterday as most members are getting prepared for committee meetings on the bills they have filed. Gio has been working night and day on getting support for his bills and has been getting some great press about the group of bills that he has filed to do with transparency at all levels of government. It seems to be his theme this session, and he is working very hard to get them positioned to get favorable votes in the committees that will hear them.
He stated he has loved seeing constituents coming to his Capitol office, so if you are going to Austin make sure you drop by his office to say hi (he’s never in his office but his staff can relay that you stopped by or can help track him down for you).
While Reagan was doing her “job”, I had some time to visit with a number of State Reps from Tarrant County, listening to their stories about the first couple of weeks of the session and passing on support for their efforts from people back home. I was also able to talk about a few bills I would like to see passed this session, some having direct impact on the City of Keller, others like Campus Carry that I have a personal interest in.
Gio was very interested in hearing about what was going on in Keller, letting me know to keep him informed of anything he could offer help with. He was very generous with his time considering how busy he is, and Reagan and I were very thankful for the time he was able to spend with us.
Reagan and I also were able to visit with Senator Hancock as he made his way from one committee meeting to another, Kelly, being such a good person wanted to hear about Reagan’s morning being a page and thanked her for coming down to learn about how the house works. If we can find the time, Reagan may head back down to Austin and spend a day on the Senate side before the session is over. Kelly has been very busy as well adjusting to the Senate side of the Capitol, and was sure to let me know to let him know if the City had any issues he could address in Austin.
Couple of other highlights of the day; it was Blue Bell Ice Cream day in Austin and there was free ice cream for all!
But the best part of the day? Gio talked to the Parliamentarian and Reagan was allowed to Gavel the session closed for the day. She giggled the first time she did it, and the Parliamentarian told Reagan “no giggling while gaveling, you have to do it again.” She then proceeded to gavel the session closed a second time without giggling. I will be sure to use that line with her for years to come!
Good memories and a great time. While it may make for a few longer hours the next few days, it was well worth the time to go to Austin to visit with the guys and gals we supported during the primaries last year. It reinforces that the hard work we put into their campaigns was well worth it. These fine people are representing Tarrant County and Keller in the way the citizens expect.
If you have a chance, take a trip. You don’t have to have a reason to go other than to show your support for their efforts and to let them know you appreciate the hard work they are doing and the sacrifices they are making by spending so much time away from their families. I know they would appreciate hearing that from the folks back home.