Thursday, April 16, 2009

House Back in Business?..Don’t Hold Your Breath!

If you were tuned in to the blog on Tuesday, you would remember that the House was indeed divided – Democrats were filibustering because of the grocery sales tax, and Republicans were killing the procedural vote required to bring Senate bills up for debate because the Senate had refused to consider Republican House bills.

Today, the Rules Committee in the House proposed a calendar that was free of Senate bills and had an equal amount of Democrat and Republican sponsored bills. It seemed a favorable environment for the House to finally make some progress after a month of stalling and filibustering.

That hope faded as Representative Alvin Holmes of Montgomery took the podium and elaborated for twenty minutes on his frustrations with a bill he is sponsoring not appearing further up on the special order calendar for the day. He stated, “I am going to filibuster and then filibuster real slow.”

Following Rep. Holmes, Representative John Rogers used his floor privilege to, once again, filibuster over the removal of sales tax from groceries.

From all appearances at present, the House may be stuck in the mud for this the 21st legislative day. The legislature, according to the Constitution, may only meet for 30 legislative days. That leaves 9 legislative (not consecutive) days for them to have a budget passed for 2010.

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