Bill McIlvain’s son Mark is a sixth grade teacher in Cheyenne who has been teaching his class about Article V and the BBA. He told the Committee they’ve put one million little stickers, or letters, on a 20 foot long wall poster at school, representing One Million dollars of our national debt. They’ve done the math, and to have posters representing our $19 trillion in debt, the entire city of Cheyenne would be covered in posters. He brought one of his star students to the hearing, along with her mother. This little girl understands what we’re trying to do, and she was there at 7:30 in the morning to watch.
Then Bill testified. It’s been 25 years since he was Speaker, and he said he’s resolutely stayed out of politics since he left. But the BBA is different, and he explained why.
Bill McIlvain has put his heart and soul into this, and every committee member knows it. So when Rep. Jennings switched from yes to no, and we lost our majority on the Committee, the room fell quiet. Everyone knew what had just happened, and Jennings started breaking into a smile before he covered his mouth with his hand. It was like he’d played a trick on us, and was proud of himself. Rep. Sue Wilson (D. Cheyenne) saw all of this happen. She’s known Bill forever.
Now maybe you understand why I say we owe our win in Wyoming to Bill McIlvain.