Libertarian Writer and Talk Show Host
Today’s hearings on HB310 lasted almost three hours and was split into two sessions. Many good Americans attended to fill the hearing room. The legislative member sponsoring the bill spoke for over fifteen minutes. Catherine Bernard, a local attorney, was the first public spokesman, and right out of the box she calmly articulated that the bill sponsor was not telling the truth on several fronts. I was amazed at how articulate, knowledgeable, and polished Catherine came across. You could see the senators squirm while she spoke. Others of the public spoke and were also effective, exposing problems with different aspects of the bill. One young woman spoke in favor of the bill, but it was obvious she was somehow part of the ‘establishment’. It was ludicrous to watch the attention this woman got, with the senators jotting down notes as she spoke. Our presenters got nowhere near that attention. The senators tried to rush the meeting without all being heard, and several of us rose from our seats, calling for a point of order. The senators tried to ignore Catherine Bernard’s right to speak in response to a member’s categorization of Catherine, but our actions from our seats won out and Catherine had an additional few moments. The state police did move to the front of the room at that point to make their presence felt. I personally experienced the police presence when I verbally confronted one of the senators after the meeting, but nothing got out of control. But at the end of the day the fix was in and the six voting members present all voted to pass the bill to the rules committee: 5 Republicans and 1 Democrat. So much for small government Republicans!