Monday, May 10, 2010

One day at the capitol

One day in the life of a lobbyist for civil liberties. Last Tuesday, May 4.

8:30am: Coffee klatch with a few legislators and lobbyists. Hilarity ensues.

9:30am: House Judiciary Committee meeting. The committee approves House Bill 739 to add a new aggravating circumstance for capital cases. A person could face the death penalty if, along with the homicide, they also commit a sex offense and they were required at the time to register under Megan's Law. Needless to say, ACLU-PA opposes and submitted a memo (pdf) to that effect.

Only outgoing Rep. Kathy Manderino voted in opposition. I'm not worried at all about this bill becoming law.

I've left difficult committee meetings with a headache in the past, but I don't yet have a headache.

10am: Rep. Metcalfe and his merry band hold a press conference to announce the introduction of legislation, House Bill 2479, similar to the recently passed law on immigration in Arizona. Our press release goes out as the presser starts.

The reps and advocates in favor of Metcalfe's bill sounded something like this:
Blah blah blah blah illegals blah. Blah blah invasion blah blah. Crime blah blah blah.

I tweeted it, with my own commentary.

Still no headache.

11am: Definitely no headache now- Senator Leach holds his press conference on medical marijuana. Chris Goldstein of Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana drops science with defiance.

12pm: Work the press room on immigration. ACLU-PA gets mentions in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, Pennsylvania Independent, and WITF-FM.

12:30pm: Lunch with the medical marijuana guys- Chris, Derek, and Jay. Brownies for dessert. (Just kidding.)

We ate in the capitol cafeteria, and as far as I know, no one has dropped dead.

2pm: Back to the office to catch up on my messages. I support a moratorium. On email.

3:30pm: Back to the capitol, meet up with allies working on prison reform issues.

4pm: Meet with Republican senator who is supportive of reform but not optimistic about passage this session.

4:45pm: Meet with Democratic senator who is supportive of reform.

5:15pm: Head back to the office to deal with emails on sex ed and LGBT discrimination and to send an update to my ACLU-PA colleagues.

6:20pm: Leave the office. No headache, no need for medical marijuana.

Another day in the life.

Andy in Harrisburg

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