Texas Legislative Session 2009 was buzzing in Austin today. Rep. Edmund Kuempel collapsed in the elevator yesterday evening and is currently in a medically induced coma. Please pray for him and his family as they endure these dark days. He was the author of HB 4416 relating to the establishment of the Texas Gaming Commission to regulate games of chance or other gaming activities at specific locations including dog or horse tracks, destination resort casinos, or on Indian tribal lands. It is popular opinion in Austin that the bill will not even make it to the floor for a vote.
Stan Sigman and I drove up to Austin to visit with one of our state representatives and saw our government at work first hand. (Really, they were working. I saw it with my own two eyes. 😉 ) Rep. Sid Miller, of Stephenville, was busy just like everyone else. But when his aid phoned down to the floor, he came right up to his office and took some time to visit with us about the proposed Texas Equine Incentive Program. I know that Mr. Sigman’s influence likely motivated Mr. Miller to miss votes to come and chat horses with us, but the fact remains that he did. And that made an impression on me. Thanks, Sid.
Speaking of missing votes, I always wondered why in the world a State Representative would fail to vote on an issue. Come on, your in session 140 days. That’s it.
But now I know and I don’t have quite as much of a problem with politicians. When a session starts, it progresses until it adjourns. Period. There’s no bathroom breaks, no go-stretch-your-legs break, no lunch break. If a representative has to leave, that representative just misses a portion of the active session. That’s all there is to it. So when Sid Miller pulled away to discuss his bill, he was paying us quite the complement.
I know plenty of you are rolling your eyes right now and thinking “that’s his freakin’ job, what’d you expect?” and that’s fine because I still feel that way too. But now I feel that way just a little bit less.
Over a late lunch on the way back to San Antonio, I had a private chuckle. This morning, Fr. Mike, discussed today’s readings regarding Jesus, the vine, as we are the branches. Here I was having lunch with Stan Sigman after introducing him to a Congressman friend of mine. Who am I to even be associated with these guys, much less making the introduction.
I’m amazed at the opportunity Our Lord blesses us with if we’ll just turn loose of the everyday routine and take His hand. The people He’ll place in our lives and the places we’ll see will amaze us. You know how vines grow. There’s no telling where it will head next. All we have to do is ask Him where to go next . . . and bear fruit. But that’s a whole other issue.