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Yesterday Blue Girl and I met up on the eastbound Amtrak on our way to Jefferson City for the opening session of the 95th General Assembly in the state capitol building.

Approaching the Warrensburg Depot.

We made good time (we were on time). I must add that the train ride is much easier to take than the drive and you don’t have to hassle about parking. When you arrive in Jefferson City you just have to walk up one block, turn right, walk one more block, and you’re at the capitol building.

In the rotunda of the capitol.

Public buildings, especially those that are seats of government and power, should always inspire awe.

We stopped by the House Communications office, signed in, and picked up our opening day press credentials. We then stopped by on the senate side and signed in. We would be announced from the floor and then we could start taking photographs. An aide to Blue Girls’ senator gave us an informative tour and gave us valuable insights much of the protocol.

We both started out at the press table “near” the senate floor, but at the last minute before the ceremonies started an old media personage asserted his turf, so I made my way to the balcony to watch the rest of the proceedings. Blue Girl remained at the press table.

The biggest concern of this legislative session? The state budget. In everyone’s mind there are no easy solutions.

We had lunch with an individual who knows a thing or two about economic development and creating jobs in the small business sector. He’d certainly make an excellent contribution to the General Assembly, but he’s not a member.

We had the opportunity to talk to quite a few people about the state of the state.

State Representative Mike Talboy (D-37)

We plan on covering this legislative session from our perches across the state. And we plan on making a few more trips to Jefferson City during the session to take closer looks.

After doing a bit of research at a state office, we hitched a ride back to the train station. While we were waiting for the westbound Amtrak at the Jefferson City station I spied this informative note posted by the volunteers who staff the waiting room:

We made good time back home, only having to stop at a siding near Centertown to wait for the eastbound Amtrak to pass us. After they did we were backed off the siding and then proceeded on in a maneuver described to us as “The Amtrak Shuffle”.

On the way back home.

And the day’s adventure only took me thirteen hours.