Lawmakers are openly appealing for divine intervention as the 2012 legislative session stretches into more overtime, and final decisions on tax and spending issues are still elusive.
Senator Daryl Beall, a Democrat from Fort Dodge, gave this morning’s opening prayer in the senate.
“Lord, bless this body. As this legislative session nears an end, sometimes our tempers do likewise. Bear with us as we do the people’s business,” Beall prayed. “…And Lord, you know that last nerve we have left? Please make sure one of our colleagues don’t get on it.”
It is the custom for both the Senate and House to begin each day of the legislative session with a prayer. Lawmakers often have their hometown ministers drive to Des Moines to give the opening prayer, but in the past two weeks of overtime legislators themselves have been doing the public praying. Beall was recruited for that role today and told by the senate president to keep the message to about a minute.
“Lord, we ask this in your Holy name, the greatest lawmaker of all time, for you gave us 10 Commandments,” Beall prayed. “We must sometimes give you reason to chuckle for we aren’t so succinct. With six volumes, we’re still adding.” That’s a reference to the laws of the state which, when printed in book form, cover six volumes.
Representative Betty De Boef, a Republican from What Cheer, asked for her colleagues in the House to be blessed with cheerful hearts.
“As we continue to try to wind down the end of the session, Lord, we just pray that you will give us patience,” De Boef prayed, “that you will give us forbearance and kindness and consideration of each other as we deal with the different issues involved.”
De Boef is not seeking reelection, so she’s entering the final days of her service in the legislature.
“Our Dear Lord and Heavenly Father, we come before you today,” De Boef prayed. “We thank you and praise you, Lord, for the wonderful blessing that you have given each one of us to serve in this awesome building, Lord, and to serve the residents of our districts and of the state.”
AUDIO of Beall’s prayer.
AUDIO of De Boef’s prayer.
By 10:30 neither the House nor the Senate had debated or passed a bill, although the House passed a resolution honoring six brothers from southeast Iowa who died during the Civil War, during their service as soldiers in the Grand Army of the Republic.