Rep. Crook: Hosting state meeting helped put face on community

CNJ staff

This week’s Legislative Finance Committee meeting in Clovis was informative and educational but more than anything, it put a face to the community, according to state Rep. Anna Crook, R-Clovis.

“When the other legislators have the opportunity to be in your community and see exactly what we are and what we’re about, it just gives them a better understanding of our needs,” she said Friday

Crook described it as a fact-finding mission for the committee that will impact decisions made during the next budget session.

“They had a lot of exposure to our community and of course the community went all out. It just makes an impression if you can have something you can put a face to.”

Crook said the meeting concluded Friday after three 10 to 12 hour days that included tours of Cannon Air Force Base, dairies, the cheese plant and even the rodeo.

Numerous meetings were also held throughout to discuss issues such as agriculture, economy, education and transportation.

Friday, attendees heard a presentation on deciding when to ask for stimulus money, she said.

“It’s important that we not start one-time funding projects. They made it pretty clear this money can’t be put into things that would have to be funded (later) by the legislature,” Crook said.

“The money should be used to complete things or supplement things that are already in place.”

A significant local issue discussed was transportation, she said, explaining the rising costs associated with roads and highways has created issues in many districts.

The LFC’s membership is 16 legislators — eight senators and eight representatives — with voting privileges. In addition, there are 24 designees who assume voting privileges should a member not be able to attend particular sessions.

The committee, first established as the Legislature’s fiscal and management arm in 1957, makes budgetary recommendations to the Legislature for funding state government, higher education and public schools, according to the Legislature Web site.

The committee also prepares legislation addressing financial and management issues of state government.