Oxley, 59, is still learning the ropes of the Legislature. “There are a lot of specifics you have to learn,” he says, “how to research bills, learning who represents whom, getting to know the other legislators. This is different from my past experience up here.”
Oxley got some interesting legislative experience on the second day of the session. He was called on by House Speaker Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, to adjourn the session. There’s specific language that must be used.
“I flubbed it big-time,” Oxley says with a laugh. “It was our second day, and I didn’t know it yet. Rep. (David) Wolkins (R-Winona Lake) tried to help me. They whispered the words to me. But I still stumbled on it. It got worse before I finally got it out.”
Next time, he’ll be ready. “After all that, (I) and all the freshmen now have a card with the words on it,” he says. “And I probably won’t get called on again. But I could be.”
Now whenever he or Messmer runs into a fellow freshman legislator, they all practice the words: “Mr. Speaker, I move you that we do now adjourn.”