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The 26th Legislature's Last Session

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Dear Source:
The last session of the 26th Legislature on the 22nd of December was indeed a debacle. After the Senate confirmed the Governor's nominees to several boards and commissions and the reappointment of Judge Holler to the Superior Court, President Berry recessed the session not before she was given gifts of appreciation from Senators Malone, Davis and Nelson. Senate President Lorraine Berry was presented a lovely arrangement of flowers and another gift in a nicely wrapped box. Senator Nelson who was the spokesperson stated it was in recognition and appreciation of the President's leadership and dedication in the 26th Legislation. The morning session was recessed about 1:30 p.m. to be reconvened by 4 p.m.
It was after six p.m. when the Senate President L. Berry finally adjourned the session, apparently recognizing that her colleagues were neither willing nor ready to continue the session. There were interested persons in gallery including the principals for Plaza Extra, whose zoning change request was expected to be acted on among other items. However, Sen. White expressed skepticism when he observed the shortness of the agenda that was circulated and expressed his suspicion that there was a hidden agenda. Some senators could not resist the temptation of throwing barbs at each other. Some began behaving in their usual way, of disruptive behavior, talking while others had the floor. There were two male pages from local schools witnessing the behavior of these grown children, who were very disrespectful to their fellow senators by holding secondary meeting and conversation on the floor while the floor was being granted to another senator.
The decorum of most of the senators leaves a lot to be desired. The Senate Vice-president appeared to have ants or stinging nettle in his seat; he could never be still, walking up and down the chambers while others spoke, very distracting. He also shouted his approval on the statements of some speakers. The President was very tolerant, I believe, because it was the last session or she was just tired of correcting grown men immature behavior. There were representatives from AARP, the local Teachers Union and other concerned citizens observing the proceedings. They expressed their dismay at the disrespect shown by the Senate President who did not attempt reconvene the session at the appointed time is spite the fact there were citizens in the chambers waiting for the session to reconvene. The Senate President when she finally appeared in the chambers and took her seat, it was about six p.m. when she banged the gavel and announced the adjournment of the session.
The 26th. Legislature came to a close and all pending matters could be taken up in the 27th. Legislature under new leadership, the "people's majority." What an unceremonious finale! The people are now becoming more involved and alert to the past practices of the legislature of passing unpopular, self-serving bills in last session of the legislature. I trust this is really a new beginning when the people, the citizens become more proactive and vigilante with their government, with their representatives in government. People power is nothing more than the empowerment of the people. People exercising their constitutional rights and responsibilities. May the New Year and the new representatives of our government, the new administration promote unity, good government, and peace. I wish everyone a most enjoyable holidays, a healthy and prosperous New Year.
J. J. Estemac
St. Thomas

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