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Legislative Report – Week Nine

Legislative Report, Week 9, 64th Session, Senator Phil Murphy

Staycation. Last week I had written about what it is like to vote, so this week is about what happens when we are “off”… We were dismissed by the President of the Senate on Thursday and I made it back in time to attend a Mayville State fundraiser that evening. It was good to see some people from home having a good time and spending money for a worthy cause. My ticket got called as a winner, so led my wife up front to choose a necklace and we went home happy. Many of the 141 Legislators use this four day break in the middle to go far away; I heard of trips to D.C., Wyoming, Montana, North Carolina, Florida, etc. Others were occupied at home and I am sure my days were similar to many. Friday was spent getting tax information together and braising some meat along with the luxury of watching UND play hockey against St. Cloud State from the President’s Suite. We used the trip to Grand Forks to help our son who is a senior at UND get his taxes done as well.

Saturday I cooked at a friend’s birthday supper, so that and Sunday felt like a vacation. Monday I attended an advertised legislative forum at Mayville State from about eleven to one with some questions and answers, then guest- lectured for a college course in ND Studies from 2 to 3. From there I motored up to Grand Forks again to attend a farm organization legislative forum/dinner that lasted about three hours and got home about nine. Tuesday morning I took off for Bismarck and stopped in Hillsboro to attend a legislative forum with our Traill County Commissioners and other county officials. There was time to stop by the Sheriff’s office, greet him, and visit briefly with Stacy Ernst and her husband. It had been my honor the week before to present Stacy with a Star of Life given to her by the State Emergency Medical Services organization. Of the nine awarded a Star this year, Stacy was the only one who got it for being primarily a dispatcher. For over thirty years, I took my classes of sophomores to see the Dispatcher, who in Traill County is also the jailer (not only in the respect that she watches the TV cell monitors arrayed above her desk). Besides that, she operates the 911 system. My son, a sheriff’s deputy out in western ND, has told me of the importance of a competent dispatcher because they need to keep the location of officers in mind for safety reasons. If you get a chance to thank her for her diligence, I would recommend it. It was also fun to meet Ken Novacek and his family. He is an EMT Crew Chief from West Traill Ambulance who was also awarded a Star and thanked for his dedication. He and his wife had lived in Buxton, I believe, but moved to Mayville around five years ago. We take them for granted at our peril.

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