Saturday, July 23, 2011

"Red Hawaii" for Wyoming state legislators

Wyoming legislators are off to Hawaii!

I'm not one to begrudge anyone a business trip to the Aloha State. I've been looking for a Hawaii junket for decades but just haven't been in the right place at the right time with the right budget.

This morning's Cheyenne Tribune-Eagle reported that one-third of the state's legislators will be attending the Council of State Governments-West Conference in Hawaii. One-third of 90 is 30. There are 14 Democrats so I estimate that as many as five Dems will accompany 25 Republicans. Let's hope my political party is not being cut out of the surf-sand-and-suds action.

I agree with Rep. Pete Illoway, R-Cheyenne, when he says this:

"They are a beneficial way to talk with other state legislators and find out what is happening in their states. You can't do anything in a vacuum."

Sen. Tony Ross, R-Cheyenne, said that out-of-state

"conferences allow state leaders to share ideas, such as successful legislation, and develop regional partnerships."

Attending national gatherings is crucial for people working in a rural state such as Wyoming. We need to compare notes with our peers. They, in turn, often need to hear from us about what works successfully in Wyoming. This exchange of ideas is healthy for everyone. You could also file it under the heading of "professional development." Each job carries with it room for improvement. Judging by the most recent legislative session, there is plenty of room for improvement.

Which brings me to my point. The Governor's office has requested cuts in state employee travel budgets. State employees have been told that in-state travel must be crucial for their jobs. As for out-of-state travel, well, that must be beyond crucial into absolutely g-d necessary. Even then, much paperwork must be submitted and special dispensations requested.

Meanwhile, our state legislators are hitting the beach at Waikiki.

Something doesn't add up.


Anonymous said...

I would much prefer they go to Hawaii than NOLA for the ALEC convention first week of August. The ALEC gig is penciled in the state legislative calendar, I'll be mad as the dickens if the lege gets travel money for that fiasco.

ALEC is funded by the multi-national corporations to write 'model legislation' to be brought home to the states. The bills do things that hurt the people and take our tax dollars and enrich the top.


Michael Shay said...

Hummingbirdminds will be documenting trips made by Wyoming Republicans to the ALEC convention in New Orleans. Taking names. Maybe even kicking ass.