Another day, another thought along the lines of: "Is there a prayer we will have a new state budget within the next two weeks?"
Actually, the budget was not even a topic of discussion as the House Ways & Means Committee once again took center stage. But there was no reason for optimism. A brief recap:
- The best idea came from freshman Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis), who called for giving the governor the power to use millions in township government reserves to solve the Capital Improvement Board (CIB) funding shortfall. Only problem was it made too much sense. A lack of support prevented full consideration and a vote
- Democrats on the committee did pass numerous other amendments that had little, if anything, to do with the CIB situation. There was random testimony before and after the fact. Only it really didn’t matter. Republicans opposed the bill when it came to a final vote and committee chair Bill Crawford (D-Indianapolis) pulled the bill because he wanted bipartisan support. Like that old Saturday Night Live skit, "Never mind!" Of course, it will be revived in some form in the Senate
- Ways & Means did pass SS 1003 (audit of administration’s public assistance privatization efforts). House convened for less than five minutes to accept commitee report and called it a day
The drama resumes on Wednesday — full House at 9 a.m. (presumably for second reading on the budget bill) and Ways & Means at 11 a.m. Those around the legislative process, however, know these times mean little.
Four days of special session activity, a lot of people talking and very little accomplished. What’s so special about that? Stay tuned for the next installment.