March 11, 2014
2014 regular session enters final stretch
Last Friday (March 7) was the second to last cut-off deadline of the session (the last day to consider opposite house bills), with the other being Sine Die (the last day allowed for regular session under the state constitution).
The Friday cutoff doesn’t apply to bills considered necessary to implement the budget (“NTIB”), or already agreed to by both the Senate and the House.
While the House did not meet over the weekend, on Saturday the Senate began considering bills placed on the “concurrence” calendar. Essentially, that means considering bills passed by the other chamber, but that have been amended.
For a bill to go to the Governor’s desk, it has to pass with the same exact language in both chambers. In many cases, the chamber of origin agrees to the other’s changes. But it is also possible that the chamber of origin can insist on the original bill. If the latter happens, negotiations usually take place to iron out any differences.
Speaking of negotiations — the “four corners” (representatives from the House majority and minority, and Senate majority and minority) are reportedly inching closer to agreement on a supplemental budget. The process is marked by a sort of “shuttle diplomacy,” with budget negotiators seen crossing the Capitol rotunda, to meet with counterparts.
Stay tuned for more, as the end of the 60-day session quickly approaches!