It is photo day. The photographers come in and set up shop on the Senate floor. They call Senator Davis "Bart" and move us around like Barbie Dolls. It is humbling and fabulous, even as we set our silly faces in fixer for the very serious rows of photos that will next year again grace the Capitol building walls. Formidable, goofy, haggard, odd. We stare down, mostly in black and white, white face after white face, year after year since Statehood.
Some days amaze me. I sit in committee and I feel a bit shameless. We are debating in all seriousness the idea of drawing an arbitrary line where laws protecting our state's water do not apply... not just for a little while, until someone cleans it up... but potentially forever. Lead and mercury and copper and phosphates... and in a voice vote we set precedent. We say OK, for perpetuity we draw a line, law applies out here on this side but not here inside the circle.
And an hour later we are voting to let sewage leach into lakes and streams and not taking into account the cost in human health of hepatitis and Giardia or the cost to taxpayers of cleaning up polluted groundwater and drinking water under towns and lake communities. But we sit and listen to the passionate and the ones who have to make the most obvious payments on legislative change. The man who can't build on the lake because his lot is too small for the new rules. So we reject the rules. Those who pay in health or taxes, down the line, years from now, they won't be here to testify today. We get just a snapshot in time. We get now. And if we can not as thinking beings think ahead, that is all we will ever have to base our vote on. Now.