State agencies have a lot of advantages at the legislature. They don’t have to report their lobbying activities, so the public never gets to see how much time and money these agencies spend to get their way in Augusta. It would shock you.
It is not uncommon to see four or more state agency staff members at a public hearing or work session of a legislative committee. Legislators – especially those who are new – give great deference to the opinions and information supplied by state agencies.
Commissioner Chandler Woodcock of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife spends less time at the legislature than most commissioners, leaving that work to his Deputy Commissioner Andrea Erskine. Andrea has been a fixture for DIF&W at the legislature for many years and we are all lucky to have her there.