Week 4&5 63rd Legislative Session Senator Murphy
Sitting in committees presents an interesting challenge while serving in the Legislature. Part of it is learning constantly as those testifying strive to present the best side of their story or situation. Many take notes, which I often have to do, but I prefer to face the speaker and listen intently. What are they not telling us while they explain their side? Like a detective or our local sheriffs, it is helpful to be able to read people’s behavior and voice inflection. My wife could always tell whenever my young children would try to foist a falsehood because she knew them so well – a luxury we do not have in committee. That is why I am always thinking of questions about what their agenda could be hiding, so that is the tack I take when I ask the chairman for time to inquire. Half-truths can be very compelling, as we all know, but as some say, the devil is in the details.
Unintended consequences are often unforeseen consequences as well. When we approved using water sales last session to build the Western Area Water Supply project, we knew that we were intruding upon private sellers of water and tried to avoid those locations when placing the public depots. But having water sales pay for WAWS by building that system has spawned a new private group that wants to build a pipeline alongside our states line. How do we handle that going forward? Trying to get rural water to the last part of the state by having the project pay for itself proved irresistible to us last session, but now other rural water systems can cry foul because the state made them bond themselves for more skin in the game than some feel WAWS has demanded.
This week my efforts outside of committee (not much time) have been on behalf of children – trying to effect early childhood education so that more of our children have a way to keep up with increasing educational demands. The rest of my time has been spent trying to protect our elderly – we and Colorado are the states that do not have mandatory reporting of elderly financial and physical abuse. Colorado’s Republican Atty. General is urging their legislature to catch up. Our state should be advancing to protect our vulnerable adults just as myself as a teacher is mandated to report suspected child abuse. There are 78 million Baby Boomers (born between 1946 -1964) and I feel the need to protect anyone who reports in good faith with immunity, just as we are with children. Our long-term care facilities do a great job across the state, but the rest of us would benefit from the discussion I am attempting to forward. We begin by testifying on 2323 in about two hours as I write this Feb. 6.
There are a couple of things that always seem to show up in life aren’t there? For one, no good deed goes unpunished and for another, I gotta do my taxes pretty soon. And eat less. Sound familiar to anyone?