Edward Zerambo’s letter in last week’s Times (Voter Rights) criticizing my limiting testimony on a bill in the legislative committee that I chair and his absurd statement that I voted on behalf of another member demonstrated a lack of knowledge concerning legislative protocol and procedures and what actually happened.
Committee chairs must keep hearings moving so that all bills can be heard, in this case there were over 20 bills we had to hear. This sometimes requires limiting the time and number of persons testifying on bills, especially because I allow Internet Zoom testimony to further facilitate public input. During the committee hearing in question, I had to limit some speakers on one bill.
Representative Salman objected and I only interrupted her during her explanation of her vote when, instead of explaining her vote, as per the rules, she instead began complaining about the excluded speakers. The explaining your vote part of the voting only allows for giving the reasons for one’s vote and not to complain about procedural issues.
After explaining that to Representatives Salman, she continued to discuss procedure and did not explain her vote, so I gaveled her a second time to explain the rules. It was only after that and a third admonishment that she finally began to explain her vote and, consequently, I no longer interrupted her.
Zerambo’s false accusation of my voting for Representative Salman was equally misleading because it did not happen. I reminded Representative Salman that if she did not vote, she would be recorded as a no vote, meaning not voting. It is within the rules to declare a person as not voting when, within a reasonable timeframe, they do not vote. Rep. Salman three times broke the rules by not voting but, in the end, Salman did vote for herself.