And now...Legislative Delegation!
One of the peculiarities of this blog business is accepting that not every piece will be a winner.
Some blogs have a few thousand pairs of eyes on them. Others, like Monday’s, scarcely a few hundred.
Obviously the goal is to have people read the blog and comment on it. This is of no use if it’s just me barking into the wind.
It took me a while to feel the blog’s ebb and flow. Even with that, though, some blogs just land flat as a pancake.
Like this one.
The photo is of Rep. Ralph Masullo and Sen. Blaise Ingoglia at Monday’s Legislative Delegation at the courthouse in Inverness.
This could have been the most extravagant Legislative Delegation meeting of all time, yet I know once most people see “Legislative Delegation” and immediately turn the page.
Look. I get it. And, truth be known, these things usually are somewhat routine so you’re not missing anything.
But this falls into the same category of my blogs that mention words like “policy". I’m a firm believer in smart policy because that’s what keeps the government’s wheels from falling off. Smart rules equal smart decisions.
The Legislative Delegation is the state’s way of making sure folks back home have a say in what happens in Tallahassee. Lawmakers hear suggestions for new laws or — more likely— money, and those legislators take it into account when they're back in the Capitol.
Legislative Delegation is money in the bank for government reporters. Because they’re fairly structured and rarely produce any actual news, we can write these stories in our sleep.
I do, though, find them fascinating to watch.
Anyone can get on the agenda for his/her 3 minutes to pitch a project or law. Some people ask for support on bills already filed or are anticipated. Others just flat out want money.
This is old hat for Massullo, who’s gone through six Citrus County Legislative Delegation meetings. For Ingoglia, his first after being elected to the Senate in November.
A Legislative Delegation meeting is the closest you’re going to get to the legislators who vote on stuff. Really the only other alternative is attending legislative committee meetings in Tallahassee, and few have time or inclination for that.
We should be in good shape this year with the Legislative Delegation of Massullo and Ingoglia. Massullo is in a leadership position in the House. Ingoglia, while a freshman senator, is close to the governor. Combined, we could see a year where big local projects not only make the budget, but also survive the veto.
Legislative Delegation isn’t the most exciting stuff for sure. But it’s through this process that Citrus County has reaped millions of dollars over the years for local projects.
Allow me to close with a little story.
Many years ago I had a local radio show called “Live Mic.” These were live interviews, usually of a political nature.
Sometimes I’d have my daughter Erin with me. One night my guest was Sen. Nancy Argenziano, who brought a coloring book for Erin to play with, while we chatted.
The Legislative Delegation meeting was a few weeks later. Huge crowd (if memory is correct probably an anti-parkway turnout) and the public was really letting the legislators have it.
I kept glancing at Argenziano who was shuffling some papers on her desk. After the meeting, I walked over to see what she was looking at. Official documents? Long-term plans? Talking points?
Nope. Erin’s coloring book drawings. Argenizano said it kept her sane that morning.
Legislative Delegation — sanity inside the lines.
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Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 35 years.