I was really pleased last week to have a lot of visitors from home in the Capitol to visit. The Anderson Middle School made the trip up on Tuesday and I was able to visit for a while and get a great picture opportunity. The White Rock Junior High also visited and we were able to introduce them in the Chamber. Not to be outdone by the kids, I was pleased to host a group of adults from Newton and McDonald Counties who came up for a round table discussion and lunch with the Speaker. There were sixteen in the group and the Speaker laid out his agenda for the next two years and then fielded questions from the group. This is a relatively new thing for the Speaker to do and I'm already signed up for another one. I think it's really important for people to get an idea of who our leaders are and what their plans for the State are.
I also had a visit from Andrea Buening who was at the Capitol to lobby for funding and support for brain injuries. When people are willing to spend hours and even days walking the halls of the Capitol soliciting support for worthy causes, it sometimes helps to know that they have made a difference. Believe me, Andrea and people like her can make a huge difference. There are literally thousands of bills proposed every year and unless someone calls our attention to a particular cause, it can be lost in the overwhelming mountain of paperwork. Thanks Andrea for your dedication.
We had a lively debate Thursday on the question of limits on medical malpractice. The Supreme Court decided that the law limiting damages to $350 Thousand was unconstitutional because of some of the wording. This takes us back to unlimited damages and gives Kansas, Oklahoma, And Arkansas a huge advantage when it comes to attracting doctors. Ironically enough, we also heard in committee a bill allowing Nurse Practitioners to operate clinics in rural areas. This was hotly contested by doctors, many of whom would never come to rural areas to practice. I'm telling you, you just can't make this stuff up! I'm sure I'll have more exciting things to confuse you next time, until then, I am and remain in your service.