I arrived in Montgomery for a caucus meeting at 2 PM this afternoon and by 6:30 had been briefed on no less than four plans as possible solution to our state’s budget situation...four.
I remain optimistic – because that’s my nature – that we will pass a budget before the end of the fiscal year for this is our Constitutional duty as legislators. I also remain a realist. To that end I introduced a 5th option; I filed a budget bill today, a somewhat unusual action for a non-budget chairman. The budget I filed today is the exact same budget that the Senate passed during the First Special Session. I filed this budget – and plan to move it along the legislative process as best I can as a fail-safe to what may become another budget stalemate between the House, Senate and the Governor.
It is important to note the history of the version of the budget that I filed today. This is the same budget that passed 19 – 15 in the First Special Session. This budget is also nearly identical to the budget the House passed (61 – 39) and the Senate passed (20 – 13) which the Governor vetoed AND the House voted to override the Governor’s veto by a vote of 75 – 21; all during the regular session that ended about three months ago.
There are a few other things going on that I’ll write about tomorrow. Committee meetings start in the morning and bills that pass committee hearings could be voted on by the full House and Senate as early as Thursday. I’ll continue to provide updates in the days ahead.
Semper Fi - Bill