General Assembly work fast-paced but enjoyable

A comment on my Facebook page recently reminded me of the constant demands of a legislative session.

My days usually start early with a review of legislation that we will consider that day and a check of the calendar to make sure that any attention my own bill’s need has been completed.

Then it is off to committee meetings, which last until about the time we caucus.

Normally we go straight from caucus to the floor for session, so we usually have lunch in there as well.

We are in the second half of the budget session, and I receive several bills from the House of Representatives to sponsor. Each of those bills require a short meeting with the chairman of the committee they are assigned to and prior to that, I have to familiarize myself with the issue the legislation is trying to address.

Then, when the bill is scheduled for a hearing, I and the author of the bill tag team to present it and make any amendments needed.

At the same time, I am working to get legislation that I authored explained to the House sponsor and scheduled for a hearing. This can get quite hectic, and you find yourself literally running from one committee to another and one chamber to the other.

Keeping your talking points on each bill handy is critical as you need to be prepared at all times to present the bills you are working on in case the other authors or sponsors are tied up and unable to be present in the hearing.

During session, we meet with any pages we have that day and have a picture taken with them. I really enjoy the page program and encourage participation.

This session, I have had almost 50 pages so far, and the kids appear to really enjoy the program. It is a look at government and the statehouse that you can’t get otherwise.

The cut-off date to sign up to page has passed for this session, so if you know of kids who would like to participate, I encourage you to visit my Senate webpage next session and sign them up.

The reason for the comment mentioned earlier was the many evening events that also occur after session have completed.

A legislator is asked to speak at various events and political club meetings and to attend informational meetings with various constituent groups in the evenings and on weekends.

This leads to long days and a bit of travel. Since I often post pictures of these meetings, those observing from the outside rightly note the frantic pace one falls into during session.

I am working hard and enjoying this challenge.

It is incredible the things you learn and the people you meet while serving as a legislator.

Please continue to communicate with me as we work to wrap up the bills under consideration. Ultimately, the goal is to pass an honestly balanced budget for the next two years.

I also hope that the legislation I worked on proves to have a positive effect on the lives of those I represent.

State Sen. Mike Crider, R-Greenfield, represents Hancock County in the Indiana General Assembly.