Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Special Session - Day 7 Update

Special Session Day 7 Recap
(Curious to how we got here, see all of our special session updates at blog.govplan.com)

 The day was light on official legislative activity, which is detailed below. Of most interest is that the Senate Majority Leadership and Senate Republican members of the Appropriations & Revenue Committee met this morning and we believe are meeting again this afternoon to discuss the House version of HB 1 and how the Senate plans to approach the legislation.

The Senate Appropriations & Revenue Committee has scheduled a meeting for tomorrow, Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. to take testimony on House Bill 1. We are not anticipating that the bill will be up for a vote at tomorrow's meeting.

The two items of major speculation at this point are:
1. The Senate Approach: Has the House satisfied the Senate's need to make further cuts and reduce the Governor's ability to restructure debt? How substantive will the Senate's changes to the bill be?
2. Timeline: Will the House and Senate try to resolve their differences before the Senate amends the bill and sends it back to the House? If they did, then the House could simply concur in those Senate amendments without the need for a conference committee. How does the Governor's veto factor into this? Will the legislature extend the session and wait to see if the Governor utilizes the veto before adjourning the special session?

Senate Daily Action
The Senate briefly convened this afternoon and gave House Bill 1 its 2nd Reading and referred the bill to the Senate A&R committee for action. Now that HB 1 has two readings it can be voted from committee and considered on the floor the same day.

The Senate adjourned until 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

House Daily Action
With House Bill 1 over in the Senate the House took no action on the floor today and adjourned until Noon on Wednesday.

Drop Out Bill
The Senate Minority caucus took testimony from First Lade Jane Beshear and Rep. Jeff Greer to urge the Senate to take action on House Bill 2, legislation to raise the drop out age to 17 by 2015 and to 18 by 2016. The legislation has passed the House three times in different sessions, but has yet to be considered by the Senate. This media report of the meeting provides more details. Herald-Leader

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