Friday, May 16, 2008

Mine the House Journal for Gems

I know it's not everyone's idea of interesting reading, but if you are so inclined, the House technology team has put the House Journal 2008 session online. There you will find the exact wording of the floor speeches, the rebuttals, the announcements, who was recognized in the gallery that day, and even the jokes. There you will also find submittals that were never spoken on the floor, but entered into the journal later as written comments.

How do you access the House Journal? Go the Bill Status page on the Capitol Website and scroll down to the box that says 2008 Regular Session Order of the Day, type in a specific date, and check off House Daily Journal. Simple.

Of course, you are going to have to guess which days are relevant if you are looking for something specific. Going to the Legislative timetable may help to narrow your search. Looking for what might have been said at first crossover? That would probably be the long day, March 4th. How about the end of session? Most of the bills were voted upon on April 29th, and about 30 more, and some of the more controversial ones, on May 1st. The Office of the Chief Clerk is still working on getting those two last days online, but everything else is up.

The House Journal also gives you a flavor of who speaks, how often, and the quality of their remarks. I'd venture to guess that not many people actually read the Journal in the past. Now that it is so readily available to the public, I hope more folks will be exposed to the interesting work that goes on in the Capitol.

Here's a gem, something light, from April 10th, page 13 of the House Journal on HCR81, HD1, SUPPORTING THE DESIGNATION OF APRIL 6TH OF EVERY YEAR AS TARTAN DAY IN HAWAII.

Representative Herkes rose to speak in support of the measure, stating:

"I rise in support of Stand. Com. Rep. 1798, HCR No. 81, the Tartan Day. I was born in Scotland. I was a British subject until I was 18 years old. I know that the Scots invented the modern world; I have a book that says that.

I had the privilege of being in Scotland last May, a guest of the Speaker of the House of Commons, and sat in on the meeting of Parliament. I'm very proud that this Resolution is to be adopted, as a Scot. Aye."

Representative Thielen rose to speak in support of the measure, stating:

"Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I also speak in strong support of this measure. My grandfather, a number of generations ago, Patrick Henry, was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and then immigrated to the colonies to freedom. So, I'm very much in support of this, and I believe we have another person from Scotland in the body, and I hope he'll say a few comments."

Representative McKelvey rose to speak in support of the measure, stating:

"Thank you very much, lads. I stand in strong support of ye Resolution. I'd just like to say this Resolution is like fine haggis on a dew Scot morning. Delicious. Thank you."

Representative Ching rose to speak in support of the measure, stating:

"As the founder of the Heritage Caucus, I absolutely do share some Scottish blood, and I know what haggis is. And as a former (member) of the Caledonian Society is something that...I don't's like natto bean, maybe. Anyway, in strong support. Thank you."

1 comment:

Doug said...

So... where are the Senate Journals on the website? MIA, it seems.

[Nudge, nudge]