In a conversation with my sister this weekend, she pointed out that I hadn't posted anything to my journal in more than two weeks. I explained that I had good intentions to do so but that I couldn't seem to find the time to follow through on my intentions.
I really like my new job but it is rather time intensive, especially in the past few weeks. North Carolina's state legislature has filed a record number of bills this legislative session, nearly 40% more than in previous sessions. My job is to read a significant number of those bills and write a digest entry that explains how the new bill affects current law and/or what the new bill does. My written analysis is published in a subscription publication called The Daily Bulletin, distributed by the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Bill drafters receive special training in how to write a piece of legislation that bears little or no resemblance to the English language. However, I'm not complaining. If they wrote in plain English, then I wouldn't have a job. Because the bills are written in legalese, the belief is that it takes a lawyer to translate the legalese into standard English. They pay me well to do this and I have the satisfaction of feeling that I'm doing a public service. The subscribers to our publication include members of local and state government, including state legislators. I take a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that I help our elected officials understand the bills that they submit for passage into law. I think that there may be something ironic about my previous sentence.
I also attend committee meetings where a legislator presents a bill that he or she sponsors and other legislators pick the bill apart and make the bill sponsor cry. Okay, I'm exaggerating, no one has cried, so far. However, there is often intense discussion about the issues that arise in the bills that are presented. There was great concern expressed as to whether or not the Collard Festival held in Ayden, NC should be designated as the official state collard festival. After all, it's not the only collard festival in NC and other communities might feel slighted. There has also been concern as to whether or not the bullfrog should be named as our state frog. I'll keep you posted on that one.
As you can tell, I've been busy monitoring great affairs of state and have had to curtail my journal entries. I hope to return to J-Land full force as soon as the state legislature is done with passing laws. I've tried to keep up with your journals and I apologize for not taking the time to leave comments. I'm reading your wonderful words even when I don't comment.
Note: This piece is meant to be humorous. The NC state legislature has proposed some solid legislation this session that if passed will aid the economic growth of the state, improve the quality of education, and improve access to health care. Of course, there have also been bills about collard festivals and bull frogs.