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Day 33: Western Day

February 24, 2012

Today I wore a bolo tie for the first (and perhaps only) time in my life. Yup, it’s Western Day in the Utah Senate.

Here I am with Father Carl Schlichte who offered the invocation this morning.

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My RDA bill passed out of the Senate today on its third reading. I substituted it and then amended it to included some suggestions I received from interested entities. Also, my stalking injunction clarification bill received no opposition in committee. It clarifies that judges who issue stalking injunctions should take into consideration whether the parties have children together, especially if there is already an existing visitation order in place.

I voted against a salvage vehicle bill in Business and Labor today because the sponsor basically said it was going to be substituted, but he wasn’t sure with what. The affected parties were still negotiating and I was afraid that by repealing the existing statute, we would tilt the balance of power to one side over the other.

After that vote another legislator pulled me aside and said that some lobbyists felt that I was squishy — meaning that they could not count of my vote even after I had committed.

While I appreciated the feedback, it kind of made me mad. First, I don’t work for the lobbyists. Second, I think I have been very consistent in doing what I say I will do. But lastly, I learned a lesson too. I need to do a better job of communicating the fact that I am still undecided.

When I am for sure supporting a bill, I convey that in a clear, unmistakeable manner. But when I’m still gathering information, I need to tell people I am only listening right now and will make my final decision later.

The PTA converged on Capitol Hill today. I got this picture with a few ladies from my district:

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