10/29/10 State Senator Bill Friend released his “Friend Report” on Thursday and said, “I have not written in a while because of so much dialogue in the media focusing on the upcoming election. But, there are some things I do wish to convey to you, the reader.”
He continued by saying, “This mid-term election is extremely important. Come January, The House of Representatives will be given the task to create a state budget, delve into redistricting, and also vote on numerous bills. There is no doubt in my mind that it is going to be one of the most difficult legislative sessions we have had in a long time.”
That being said, Senator Friend said, “It is important that every citizen vote. Everyone needs to vote to express their opinion. It is not enough to gripe about dissatisfaction; you need to do something about. He continued by saying, “Voting is a right that we all have as American citizens, and we must act on it. Please take advantage of your right to vote.”
He spoke about the upcoming legislative session and explained, “There will be about 2,000 bills filed for consideration. Where do they all come from? How can there be that many law changes proposed? The answer is pretty simple: constituents. With 150 legislators serving the state, there are many ideas and proposals that are suggested over the course of the spring, summer and fall.”
After the legislators receive the ideas and process their worth, if the idea is reasonable, the legislator takes it to the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency, and asks for research and an official bill draft. The bill draft is then circulated to the individuals who requested it and if acceptable, it will be introduced for consideration during session.
If the bill receives a hearing by a committee, it has a chance to advance and be fully considered by the legislative body. Without an initial committee hearing, the bill dies.
Friend said, “My whole point is that ideas come to the legislative process by communicating with your elected representatives. That is why voting for and electing effective representatives is so important. The first and most important step is to vote. Then, communicate with your representative.”
State Senator Bill Friend closed his report by saying, “Two principles here are imperative: voting and communication. Our government depends on both because they are the root of democracy.”