Senator Parsley’s week six legislative report

By Sen. Scott Parsley, Dist. 8

Week six saw a number of long debates on bills in both the House and Senate, the use of a seldom used rule to delay a bill from being heard, and the defeat of the Governor’s Education Funding bill.
In the Senate, HB 1008, the so-called Transgender Bill, was debated on Tuesday.  After a long and, at times, tense debate, the bill passed 20 to 15. The bill is now on the Governor’s desk waiting his action. The Governor has five legislative days to sign or veto the bill. If the bill is vetoed, it is likely there will be an attempt to override the veto. If the Governor signs the bill, HB1008 will become law.
On Thursday, Feb. 11, the House was scheduled to take action on the Governor’s Education Funding bill, HB 1182. This is the bill that would increase sales and use tax by half a cent. The House action, however, was delayed by the use of rule 5.17. This rule allows for a non-debatable motion to delay action on a bill until the second legislative day after the motion was made. This motion requires one-fifth of the body’s support or 14 House members.
Because the Legislature was in recess until Tuesday of the past week, the bill was scheduled to be heard on Feb. 16, but rule 5.17 was once again enacted, and the bill was delayed again until Thursday, Feb. 18, when action was taken on the bill. After more than an hour and a half of debate, the bill failed to get two-thirds support by one vote.
A House member gave notice of his intent to have the bill reconsidered, which was voted on last Friday and received enough votes for reconsideration. The bill was heard for the fifth time on Monday, Feb. 22. Normally, I wouldn’t include dates of all the action taken on bills, but this bill has had a long history already and it isn’t through the first House. The effort over the weekend has been to find at least one vote to move the measure to the Senate for continued debate.
While there was other floor action on bills in both the House and Senate this past week, these two bills were the most controversial and commanded the most focus.

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