Long hours at the legislature

Last night I had my first opportunity to testify before a committee at the state legislature. I arrived when the committee started, at 1:30 p.m., knowing full well that they had 12 bills to consider.

The committee was focused on credits and exemptions that the state is eliminating or capping. My Chamber public affairs team warned me that it could be a while before it was my turn to testify.

The hearing room was standing room only, and another hundred people were in the lobby waiting their turn to testify on one bill or another.

I testified at 1:30 a.m. this morning – twelve hours after the committee started.

Here’s my question. I have been to, and frankly run, meetings where the topics were critical. Is there ever any reason for a committee hearing to last twelve hours? What kind of critical thinking is happening by legislators and testifiers when they have been sitting in a hearing room for twelve hours? We were all emotionally and physically exhausted, hungry and dehydrated. Who really functions well under those conditions? Next time, I am bringing snacks.