We also passed four abortion-related bills. These include a 72-hour waiting period before an abortion as well as protection for medical professionals to opt out of providing abortion services . As you can well imagine, there was a lot of lively debate on all these bills. Speaking of lively debate, we also passed a bill to allow voters to change the State Constitution to require photo identification at the polls.
All in all, we have passed some much needed reform proposals and added some good common sense legislation. When we return, we still have to debate bills on common core, education reform, and Medicaid reform. All these subjects have been taken up by committees, some by more than one committee, and hour upon hour of testimony has been given. I have been asked to join several other representatives for a trip to St Louis to visit some of the most troubled schools. We have to make some changes in the failing schools in St Louis and Kansas City but I am adamant that changes there should not affect schools in the rest of the state. I prefer to see pilot programs tried in the worst school districts on a trial basis before we make any permanent changes. I'll share the information in a couple of weeks.
The bills that we have passed are now on their way to the Senate. Some of our bills have identical counter parts in the Senate. This is sometimes done to make sure that one of the bills survive the process without too many changes. There are instances where a bill gets so many amendments to it that the original intent is totally lost. We also sent all the "Consent" bills to the Senate. Those are bills that have no objections to them in committee and are usually passed on the floor with little or no debate. A good example of this type of bill is bridge and highway naming legislation.
This is the time of year that our schools travel to the capitol. The White Rock Jr. High 8th Graders were there on Thursday under the capable leadership of Miss Dudley, Mrs. Nichols, Mrs. Cable, Mrs. Ambrose, and Mr. Lett. They visited Jefferson Landing and the Governor's Mansion then toured the Capitol, including introduction on the House Floor, and wound up with a tour of the Supreme Court. We served them pizza and pop to keep their strength up and even took a group picture on the Grand Staircase! I really enjoy having people come to the Capitol and we still have all the rest of the schools in the District coming up. I think this is the favorite time of the year for my Assistant Elaine Meller. She dearly loves to see all the kids come to the Capitol and does an absolutely marvelous job of making preparations.
One last note: We absolutely will NOT make the "High Five" the State handshake. I've told you before that any Representative can present any bill for consideration. The Representative that proposed this bill must have been sampling some of that Colorado pain medicine!