President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s request for the return of the Legislature to enact several bills in order to keep the economy on an even keel may not be possible as reports reaching the Daily Observer say the Senate is yet to obtain the required signatures to concur with the House of Representatives to produce a “Receipt of Certificate for Extension” to legitimize their second extraordinary session.For the past two days, the chambers of both Houses have remained empty with the Senators in smaller groups holding secret meetings, while a few of the Representatives were seen in their offices doing absolutely nothing.According to reports, the Representatives, although they were reportedly doing nothing, had two days of lobbying and gathered over 19 signatures which constitute one quarter of the required number in accordance with the Constitution. Article 32b of the 1986 Constitution states, “The President on his own initiative or upon receipt of a certificate signed by at least one-fourth of the total membership of each House, and by Proclamation, extend a regular session of the Legislature beyond the date for adjournment or call a special or extraordinary session of that body to discuss or act upon matters of national emergency and concern.”The persistent delay of the Senate to concur with the House of Representatives to acquire the signatures of at least eight Senators means that there will be no ‘Receipt of Certificate of Extension’ to allow the President to issue a proclamation to legitimize their stay.Legal minds on Capitol Hill are arguing that even if the Legislature does not produce a Receipt of Certificate of Extension, Article 32b also gives the President the authority to use her ‘Executive Power’ to issue a proclamation without a certificate, but will compel and legitimize an extraordinary session. However, there has been no official reason for the failure of the Senate to sign the Receipt of Certificate and unconfirmed reports in the corridors of the Legislature say the Senators’ refusal to sign is owing to dissatisfaction over their ‘just benefits’ from the President. Traditionally, lawmakers are paid their monthly salaries, allowances, and other benefits as per the months they work and receive their monthly benefits if they work for 15 days. Constitutionally the Legislature goes for an annual agricultural break at the end of August or early September, but this year, they were asked by the President to stay up to October 15 for the first extraordinary session wherein they were given two months benefits. Accordingly, at this second extraordinary session the lawmakers are expected to cut short their constituency (agricultural) break for the second time, and their return to Capitol Hill is expected to address several proposed legislations that are relevant to the country’s economy. Some of the bills to be addressed, according to our sources, include the ratification of four oil blocks, proposals from the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) as well as the Land Act. It may be recalled that on November 9, President Sirleaf wrote House Speaker J. Alex Tyler, and Senate President Pro Tempore, Armah Z. Jallah, urging for additional stay by the Lawmakers to conclude several bills and other matters important to keeping the economy stable. The President’s letter was written 25 days later as a ‘follow-up’ to her appeal after a decisive and secret meeting with the Legislature’s leadership on Wednesday, October 14, in the House’s first floor conference room.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Harp, 22, is the lone Bulldog who will swim in next week’s NCAA Division III national meet at the University of Houston. The Pacific High School graduate will compete in the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle events. His favorite event is the one with the least room for error – the sprint. University of Redlands senior swimmer Trevor Harp compares his best event to gambling. “A lot of things can go wrong,” he said. “And all it takes is one thing to go wrong and you’re done.” He holds the school record in the 50 (20.47) and the 200 (1:40.71), with both of those times posted at the SCIAC championship meet last month in Cerritos. He has won eight SCIAC individual titles, winning multiple titles three times. The exception was his sophomore year, when he placed second in all three events to Andrew Cox of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, who ended up the NCAA champion. This will be Harp’s fourth trip to nationals and he has yet to place. The previous three years he qualified for the event with B standard times. But this year he recorded an A time, which bodes well for his chances. He is seeded third in the 50, sixth in the 200 and 11th in the 100. “You mess up the start and you’re done, and you mess up the turn and you’re done. That’s why I say it is like gambling,” he said. “The shorter the race, the more it makes a difference. A tenth of a second make the difference between fourth and 14th place.” Harp has been the key performer for a Bulldog men’s team that won its seventh straight conference title this season. Not only did he excel in the freestyle events, he also competed on four relays, three of which placed first in the conference. But when the men’s meet goes off, he will be the school’s lone representative. “A lot of people look at swimming as an individual sport and it is,” he said. “But one of the best things about it is having your teammates there cheering you on. There is a lot of camaraderie. It’s just going to be a little strange being the only guy there.” Redlands coach Leslie Whittemore likes Harp’s chances, though. “He has been there three times already, so he knows what it’s all about and he’ll have a feel for the atmosphere,” she said. “He did a lot more work during the offseason on his own. He came in here knowing this was going to be his last year and he wanted to make it his best year.” Harp was destined to be a standout in the pool. His mother, Annette, enrolled him in swim classes at a young age because she wanted him to be safe around the water and because father Paul excelled in the sport at San Bernardino High School. Trevor is fifth in a line of seven children, all of whom have enjoyed water sports. His youngest brother plays water polo at Redlands High School. At Pacific, Harp fared well, winning CIF titles in the 50 and 100 his junior year. He won the 50 and took second in the 100 his senior year. When it came time to choose a college, Harp wanted to stay close to home. He debated going to Cal State San Bernardino but opted for Redlands mainly because it has a swim team. He is majoring in biology and debating moving on to veterinary school. But that is farther down the road; the national meet is his biggest focus right now. He is realistic about how tough the field will be. “I would like to make the finals and swim a good time,” he said. “If I do that I will be happy.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!