October 7, 2021 Part 1


Griffin [00:06:42] We’re going to get started in a minute. We’ve got some photocopying of some documents to do so give us, Sabrina, what, another five minutes? Another five minutes, probably. Thank y’all. 


[00:11:11] [Break]


Griffin [00:11:11] The Senate will come to order. Madam Secretary, please call the roll. 


Secretary [00:11:18] [All present except Eads]


Griffin [00:11:49] Senator Hammer. 


Hammer [00:11:51] I’d like to request leave for Senator Eads.


Griffin [00:11:54] Without objection. 


Chesterfield [00:11:58] Mr. Chair, ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, I would ask prayers for the family of Mrs. Ann Cornwell. 


Griffin [00:12:03] One second. [Gavel] Senator Chesterfield’s got the floor. 


Chesterfield [00:12:07] I would ask prayers for the family of Mrs. Ann Cornwell. She’s never missed a session, and so we would ask that you lift her family up in prayer. 


Griffin [00:12:14] Thank you for that. OK, everyone please rise, including those in the gallery. Senator Sullivan is going to pray. Did you hear what she said, Senator Sullivan? 


Sullivan [00:12:25] Lord, we’re thankful for every day and every breath that we draw. We know those are from you. These are difficult times in our family here at the Senate and in the House and the Legislature and all the government. Difficult decisions, difficult family times going on also. We want to pray first for Ann and her family, that she would know that she’s in our thoughts and our prayers, and we pray that you would have mercy upon them. Bless them and give them comfort in these times. Lord, I also pray that we extend mercy to one another and grace to one another because they are difficult issues, people losing their jobs, businesses going closed, people who are very dissatisfied with one another for a lot of different reasons. Lord, help us to look to you for the answers and help us to look to you for the wisdom. Have mercy on us because it’s only through you that we can grant mercy to others. We love you, and help us to show our love for one another by the way– our love for you, by the way that we love one another. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen. 


[00:13:47] [Pledge of Allegiance]


Griffin [00:13:56] I want to mention a few things before we get going. So if you’ve got your calendar in front of you, Senator Ballinger will not pass over that today. We will take that up. Senator Ballinger’s bill, SB 731. It has an emergency clause. And the reason I point that out is because if you go down to the House bills, HB– I’ve got to get my glasses on– 1977 is the emergency clause only. In HB 1982 is the bill only without an emergency clause. So HB 1977, emergency clause only, 24 votes. And HB 1982, bill only, 18 votes. Any questions on that? Okay, Senator Ballinger, 731. SB 731. 


Secretary [00:15:03] Senate Bill 731 by Senator Ballinger to establish a right of privacy concerning COVID 19 vaccination status, to establish a grant program from COVID 19 relief funds or American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funds and to declare an emergency. 


Griffin [00:15:19] Senator Ballinger. 


Ballinger [00:15:20] Thank you. What this bill– this is the bill, essentially, that we’ve seen emailed around, all that. My intention wasn’t to, wasn’t to run it this session if we’ve got the other bill passed because we get the emergency clause on that one. My intention still is not to run it if we get the emergency clause. So if the emergency clause on the other bill passes, I will withdraw this bill or let it die, you know, as we adjourn Sine die, we’ll be out of here. I– I’m like, I don’t like putting any of my colleagues in a tough spot. I, I want to go home. I, I mean, I do it, but it’s not because I like it. I really do like you guys for the most part. You guys all have flaws. But you know, luckily, most of your flaws are not as big as mine. So you know that’s– but the reality is that I got people who are hurting back home, who are scared, who are going to lose their job, who’ve developed skills by working at a, in a plant for 20 years and got to the point where finally they’ve been able to buy their own house, they’ve been able to, to have their kids, you know, grow up in high school and be able to buy them a used car. I mean, they’re not rich, but they’re able to just do it. They’re able to, they’re able to work in a little hospital right in their community where they grew up. And, and I know a lot of people say, you can just go get another job. Well, let me tell you pretty soon it’s not going to be possible. We’re about to get a mandate that says any job that employs 100 people or more, that they can’t work there. Like, Do we really want to make them unemployable? The emergency clause on the other bill, it doesn’t do everything– like this is the bill that I like. It has a right, a right that is God given to privacy, to decide for ourselves whether we share certain information or not. That, that’s a, that is an unalienable right, right? And all this does is the state of Arkansas, like one of the legitimate functions of state government, is to go out and protect rights. It’s why we were instituted, why governments are instituted among men is to protect individual rights. And one individual right is to decide. I don’t think it’s a, an employer. There’s a whole list that Senator Rapert read of questions that, that an employer shouldn’t ask. One of the questions an employer shouldn’t ask is, have you had a vasectomy, right? Well, I also think it shouldn’t be whether or not you have a COVID 19 vaccination. That should be something that is private. Now, I, I was willing to forgo what I thought was better policy in order to try to get something that would help my people today. Because while I knew this would pass and I could of ran this a week ago and I knew it would pass, what I also knew is that it didn’t help those people who would be fired in November, right, the people who will be fired in the next few weeks. So once again, if we get the emergency clause on the other– my opinion hasn’t changed. If we get the emergency clause on the other bill, then, then that’s great. If we don’t, then, then I want to do something. The difference is this bill because it protects the right of privacy. It’s January when this bill will become law because I have no expectations of getting the emergency clause on this one. When this bill becomes law in January, when those people go back to their job and they apply for their job back because they got canned because they didn’t want to get a vaccination, those employers best not even ask them about the vaccination status because if they do and they don’t hire them, they’ve retaliated against them and they’ll be sued. Just like a lot of other rights we protect, just like a lot of other things, we’re going to say there’s a God given inalienable right to decide to reveal that information for yourself or not. And so I want to go home. I want to– we, we have a resolution to adjourn. I want to be able to vote for that so bad. I do. But you know, we, we have the ability now to offer some help. Right? We can, we can work through this process. This can be within moments over to the House. They can have a, have a House Public Health meeting. I’ve seen them take a bill and then send it straight over to the House and vote on it. We can still go home today. I want to go home today. Like I said, I want to be sitting on my porch, having coffee tomorrow with my, all my little babies around and my wife around. I have clients that want me to do work, that have been begging me to do work. I want to be able to do work for them. But the truth is, we did this job– I took the job for one reason, and that’s to protect rights of my citizens. We have that opportunity now. So, you know, if we can do this, I definitely won’t be voting for the adjournment resolution today. We’ll be going on unless we get the– adopt the the emergency clause, which I, like, at this point, who knows, but I’m not expecting it. But anyway, I, I’d appreciate a good vote. 


Griffin [00:19:51] He’s left the well.  Senator Hester. 


Hester [00:19:55] Yeah, members, I was able to visit with, I would say most of you, but not everybody. I think some of these–


Griffin [00:20:01] Senator, Senator Hester. If, if you want to make a motion, make a motion. Come down here. If you want to speak on it, you can do that. Let’s– there are apparently no questions. The senator is recognized. 


Hester [00:20:14] Members, as a purpose of a motion, I’ve spoken with many of you. Certainly not everybody, but so many of these issues, I don’t think any of us are on the bubble on. We know the score. We’ve heard the debate countless times with our constituents in committee. And so I’d– my motion is immediate consideration. 


Griffin [00:20:30] It’s a non-debatable motion. Requires 24 votes. All those in favor say aye. Opposed. The ayes have it. Please call the roll. 


Secretary [00:20:45] Ballinger. yes. Beckham, yes. Bledsoe, Bledsoe, no. Caldwell, yes. Chesterfield, no. Clark, yes. Davis, yes. Dismang, Dismang, no. Eads, Eads. Elliott, no. English. Could you repeat that, Elliott? Thank you, senator. Flippo– Oh, English, no. Flippo, yes. Flowers. Garner, yes. Gilmore, yes. Hammer, yes. Hendren, Hendren, no. Hester, yes. Hickey, no. Hill, yes. Ingram, no. Irvin, yes. Blake Johnston, yes. Mark Johnson, yes. Leding, no. Pitsch, Pitsch. Rapert, yes. Rice, yes. Sample, no. Stubblefield, yes. Sturch, yes. Sullivan, yes. Teague, Teague. Tucker, no. Wallace, yes. [20 yes, 11 no, 4 not voting]


Griffin [00:22:08] Senator Pitsch is aye. Anybody else? Senator Teague is aye. Anybody else? Cast up the ballot. 22 yeas, 11 nays. The bills is passed. The emergency clause is not adopted. Transmit to the House. Senator Hammer. This is emergency clause only. Emergency clause only. 


Secretary [00:22:39] House Bill 1977 by Representative Bryant and Senator Hammer to provide employee exemptions from the federal mandates and employer mandates related to coronavirus 2019 and to declare an emergency. 


Griffin [00:22:55] Senator Hammer. 


Hammer [00:22:58] Thank you, Mr. President. I won’t take long. It’s been well debated. I want to give you two stories that were given to me this morning as to why I think that this has been a fight worth fighting even up to this point. I want to thank members of the Senate, some of which I may miss, but I want to publicly thank some members of the Senate who, without their assistance, would not be to this point. Want to thank Senator Missy Irvin, been a champion to help get this through. Want to thank Senator Bob Ballinger. Want to thank Senator Scott Flippo, Senator Alan Clark, Senator Hill, and all that have voted for this up to this point. I want to say thank you for your consideration and for your support through this process. And if I have left you off, I apologize. Here are two things I want to share with you, and then I will step to the side. I received this message this morning. This is part of the reason why I’m fighting so hard. “I’ve worked for a hospital for over 19 years, been working from home for the last few years”– in the capacity that this person holds. And obviously I’m clouding this a little bit so as not to be too identifying of the person because who knows what would happen if her institution decided to expedite her firing. She applied for religious exemption, was denied, appealed. Three other coworkers were granted the exemption, but no reason given for her denial. This person will be terminated in 30 days if the emergency clause is not adopted. She is the sole provider for her and her kids. Second one. This person is a registered nurse. This person worked with COVID patients, never caught it until she worked with a nurse who was vaccinated and caught virus, caught the COVID virus from her. Vaccinated people are not getting symptoms but are spreading it. And then I would leave you with this comment as far as why we have fought so hard to get this bill to this point, and I would respectfully ask for 24 votes so that it could have the emergency clause to protect many people, even the two that I just shared. I would remind you of a principle that there were 99 that were safely in the fold. We have helped some people stay in the fold by giving them an enormous amount of money, including, including the hospital facilities for which these people work. We’ve given them coverage, those 99 who are safely in the fold. This is a fight for the one who is outside the fold, not because they wanted to be outside the fold, but because they’ve been pushed outside the fold. Your vote today can help protect people like that. And with that, I’d appreciate a good vote. 


Griffin [00:25:51] For what purpose is Senator Garner coming to the well?


Garner [00:25:57] Speaking in favor of the emergency clause.


Griffin [00:26:00] Ok, hang on. Anyone speaking against? Anyone want to speak against? Senator Garner. 


Garner [00:26:06] Thank you, colleagues. I’ll be very brief because I know we done debated this into the ground. I don’t want to replow the ground we done hit over and over again. I’m not speaking to the policy of this bill itself because you all have your opinion and I’ve talked to enough, enough people in here to know that your opinion is something you think is valid. You have real concerns. And I don’t think you’re a hypocrite or wrong or to feel those ways. I understand them. But this body and so has the House has made a decision on this policy. I, numerous times during the session, lose policy fights. Think how many times I got things I get mad about and don’t want to pass through here that does. I think back to some of our big fights before I even got here about the Medicaid expansion and the battles that happened with this body whenever I wasn’t even here? But then I think about once that policy decision has been made by this body one way or the other, do we as an institution go forward in a way that best benefits the people of Arkansas to implement that policy? Go back to the Medicaid expansion. I know there’s people here who hated that policy. Y’all had fights about it. But then whenever the DHS budget would get here, you’d hold your nose and you’d vote for that. Not because you agreed with Medicaid expansion, but because you understood that the DHS budget was bigger than just that policy. I think about how many bills that I have lost the battle on that my colleagues come and say, Will you vote this emergency clause and I’ll vote yes, even though I disagree with the underlying policy. And so we face that decision today, is should we put this emergency clause in place? And this is why I think we should. It’s very simple. This policy is going to happen one way or the other. The decision you make is, do you have that policy hit sooner rather than later? Because if we don’t act today to do the emergency clause, three months from now, while most businesses are in the middle of Christmas holidays and New Year’s, they’re going to be hit with this policy months down the road. This will probably be after the Biden administration has put out their policy on mandates. There will be a lot of decisions making that happen to have in that time and conflicting things that happen in the next three months. Even if you disagree with this policy strongly, which I think a lot of you do, why not make the decision quicker so that if you think the courts are going to find this unconstitutional, they can actually go to court quicker? Why not put a policy in place that you know the businesses can have some kind of reference to moving forward and have that debate happen sooner? It’s– once again, I’m not judging you on your policy decision. What I’m judging you on is the ability to let’s have this thing go into effect, let’s give that out there to people, and let’s have a debate so that three months from down the road, we don’t have a new can of worms get opened. And that, I think, is good for the institution of the Senate. I think it’s good for this body, and I think it’s a good policy moving forward. So thank you so much, colleagues. I appreciate y’alls work on this the last few days on this one way or the other. And thanks for letting me say a few words. I appreciate it because Senator Ballinger came up here and usually took my shtick of being the loud guy so I can be the calm guy today.


Griffin [00:29:08] Thank you, Senator Garner. 


Rapert [00:29:09] Mr. President. 


Griffin [00:29:12] One, one second, one second, one second. What purpose– you’re rec–


Irvin [00:29:16] Motion. 


Griffin [00:29:16] OK, if you’re going to have a motion, you have to come down here. But, but– 


Hickey [00:29:20] Objection, objection. 


Griffin [00:29:25] Well, hang on one second. Senator Mark Johnson is next on the list of people going to the well. Sen. Mark Johnson told me a minute ago. He hadn’t been standing over there, but we’re going to go to Senator Mark Johnson if no one wants to speak against it. 


Irvin [00:29:41] I’d like to make a motion. 


Griffin [00:29:42] Well, there’s someone who wants to make a motion before you over there in line who’s already told me. Will you yield? You still want to make a motion? OK, you’re behind, then you’re behind Senator Hester. 


Irvin [00:29:56] Can I ask for a clarification? 


Secretary [00:29:58] Yes. 


Irvin [00:29:59] In order for a senator to make a motion, do I have to be at the well or at my desk? 


Griffin [00:30:05] You need to come–


Irvin [00:30:05] Because many, many times there have been senators that have stood up at their chairs and made motions. 


Griffin [00:30:10] [00:30:10]It’s grace. We generally–


Irvin [00:30:13] So today, I don’t get grace? OK, just asking a question.


Griffin [00:30:20] Sometimes– if you will go back and find on video where somebody made a motion, that might have happened. But my general rule is you come down to the well. We’ve talked about that before. I believe we made reference to– I believe Steve and I had this conversation about what is appropriate and what– people can ask questions, but if you’re going to come down and make an argument about a motion, you need to do it from the well. That has nothing to do with what’s going on here. What’s going on here is I was already told that Senator Hester wanted to make a motion. It’s fine if you’re right there or over there. I don’t care. I have a list that I’m taking, so it has nothing to do with whether you’re at, whether you’re at your chair. I have a list of who’s up next. Senator Mark Johnson’s in front of Senator Rapert and others because Senator Mark Johnson told me I want to speak next. 


Irvin [00:31:17] OK. 


Griffin [00:31:17] That’s what’s going on there. So no, no one’s being punished for whether they’re at their chair or in the well. I’m just doing that because it’s more appropriate for the body. 


Irvin [00:31:27] I understand. I, if I may, I’m asking for clarification, because twice I’ve stood from my chair and asked for a motion and I’ve been denied the opportunity to make a motion from my chair because I was not at the well when there have been senators stand up from their chairs and made motions all over and over and over again. So it is, it is important for me to understand why I have been denied twice from my seat making a motion when other members in this chamber have had the opportunity to make motions from their seats. So I need that clarification. 


Griffin [00:32:04] [00:32:04]Well, I assure you, it has nothing to do with you personally.]


Irvin [00:32:07] OK. 


Griffin [00:32:07] [00:32:07]That’s all you need to know. Number one. Number two, 99.9 percent of motions that occur in this body are not contentious as to whether they can be done. What generally happens is if someone stands up, they’ll start to make a motion, and unless whoever is in this chair, which is generally me, unless they say, unless they say something like, will you please come to the well, then that might happen. But there’s hardly ever a time when a senator goes, I’m not moving to allow that motion. That just generally never happens. So if that’s happened to you, it’s more of that grace where it just happens. A lot of stuff happens because we let it happen and no one objects. But Steve and I have talked about what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate under the rules and tradition. And what we concluded is that as a general matter, if you are going to speak to a substantive issue, whether it be a bill or a motion, you should be right there. Do people get away with things? Yes. But that’s– I mean, again, some senators walk right in front when others, and I never say anything. And then the next– it’s like a speeder. 50 people go by, why did you pick me to give me the ticket? You just were next. And so it’s not personal, I promise you. And you know better than that I would make it personal and punish you. If you want to make a motion, you can make a motion. And the gentleman may even yield, I don’t know. But, but there’s someone before you on a motion. 


Hickey [00:33:48] Just as it relates to my objection, and I appreciate that, would you mind at this point for the rest, for this particular bill, what is the order that you have and how you want the members to proceed from that point? 


Griffin [00:33:59] So what I have next– and I have to go through the for or against– but what I have next is Senator Johnson and then Senator Hester. And I assume if you were, you were standing over there, Senator Rapert and Senator Irvin. 


Hickey [00:34:13] Thank you, sir. 


Griffin [00:34:13] That’s what I have. But, but I will say this. It’s not particularly helpful if people are just hanging out, intermingled with those who are speaking, because then I’m just sort of guessing who– you know, some people like to hang by the door, and they have no intention of going to the well. Well, I just, you know, it’s best if the people line up to speak. But, you know, there’s six people on that wall, and I’m sure they don’t want to speak. 


Hickey [00:34:44] Thank you. 


Griffin [00:34:44] Yeah, OK. Senator Rapert. 


Rapert [00:34:47] Point of personal privilege. The only reason I rise is that I need to make a disclosure that I feel that needs to be made so at the proper time– 


Griffin [00:34:54] [00:34:54]Okay, we’ll do that. OK, well, that won’t take us– OK, so, in favor, correct? OK. And then we will go to Senator Hester. But before anyone speaks again, we’ll have an opportunity to hear against. But I haven’t found anyone speaking against yet. OK. Senator, please go. You’re recognized.


M Johnson [00:35:21] Thank you, Mr. President. I have my Merriam-Webster dictionary here because I want to make clear that I make this word perfectly clear. I’ve learned that my accent sometimes can confuse people. The word I want to use with you is oligarchy. O-L-I-G-A-R-C-H-Y. And Webster’s Collegiate defines it as government by the few or government in which a small group exercises control, especially for corrupt and selfish purposes or an organization under oligarchic control. We’re here to discuss the emergency clause on House Bill 1977.  We passed the bill. And presumably, it will become law. I think it will. I think most of you think, agree that it will become law. The oligarchy in this state opposes this bill. Many of the people who are affected– and while as a percentage of our population it’s pretty low. It’s maybe the 1 percent or one that that Senator Ballinger was discussing. But if you’re in that 1 percent, it’s the biggest thing in your life. And I know you all had to have received the emails and phone calls and texts that I have similar, but maybe you can steel yourself against it, either for political purposes or for purposes related to your district and people that supported you. And this is not a cut and dry issue. I told Senator Dismang yesterday that he did an eloquent defense of why, on one hand, we need to protect businesses. And many of us in this room have that feeling. We want to stay out of the face of private business and keep government out of them. And then on the other hand, there’s the individual. And there’s been some eloquent defenses, Senator Stubblefield, Senator Clark and others, not to mention Senator Hammer, of the individual rights. But this whole nation was founded on the basis of individual rights, God given rights. And to secure those rights, we established this government. With all of its flaws, it’s still the best one that’s ever been in the history of this world. Now, I had to weigh these things, and I came up with the fact that individual freedom, in this case, will trump the individual, the freedom of the individual employer. We’re talking about human beings here, not corporate entities. I want you to consider, just as a technical matter, that this bill is going to pass and if it passes without the emergency clause, we could very well be looking at 90 days of chaos in this state. And I don’t even just mean the litigation and the going back and forth, which there’s going to be litigation anyway. We know that I think about everything we’ve done this extended session is going to be litigated. I think we all know that and we’re just moving forward with it. But let’s give at least for the 90 days, let’s clarify, oK, here’s the law. Now, if you want to go to court, go to court. We’ll deal with it. But please don’t give us 90 days of chaos, followed by then and more and more and more litigation. Those of you that oppose the bill in its substance, I respect you. But I sincerely ask that you approve the emergency clause. Let us move on and get through the things we have to get through. And if the courts get involved, the courts get involved. As we said, when we debated the the germane ness of all these issues, it came down simply to what’s going to happen. How are we going to get out of here? What’s the, what’s germane? Well, the emergency clause is not an afterthought, much like it was on the redistricting bills. It’s critical for this state to move forward. So those of you that voted against the bill, in the body of the bill, I ask you to please consider stopping the chaos, getting this thing done. Let’s go home. And if the lawyers want to get involved, then God bless them. That’s what they’re there for. But I want to appreciate– I want to tell you how much I appreciate every single one of you and your passion because it’s not a question of my mind that all of you love and respect the people of Arkansas. We just have some differences of opinion on how to serve them. But in this case, let’s just clear the deck, get this thing moving on and let the courts do what they may or may not do. Thank you, Mr. President. 


Griffin [00:40:37] Thank you. And I want to tell you, Senator Irvin, having talked with Steve about this, when Senator Hammer– where’s Senator Hammer? This is still your emergency clause, right? No, I’m sorry. This is, this is the next one. So, so if, if Senator Hester had not told me that he had a motion and he was just wanting to speak on it, then yours would have taken precedent. But because he’s about to make a motion, his takes precedent. That’s why he gets to go. If he were going to speak on it like everyone else, your motion would take precedent over– if no one, if, if the gentleman, the proponent of the bill, had left the well. So now, your ethics disclosure takes top priority, so please come down. 


Rapert [00:41:32Thank you. Members, as this debate has evolved, I’ve taken a look and reviewed some of my clients and my company. You know I deal with some private equity interests. Based upon the fact that some of the provisions of some of these bills, I do not know whether some of my clients may or may not have interests that would be affected. So out of an abundance of disclosure, I’m going to make a written disclosure and will affect that with Steve Cook to make sure it’s on the record because I have no idea underlying some of those companies that have health care related interests that they may be affected. And I wanted to be sure that I don’t miss the opportunity to do that. So thank you, members. 


Griffin [00:42:10] OK. The senator’s recognized for a motion. 


Hester [00:42:16] Thank you, governor. Members, I make a motion for immediate consideration. 


Griffin [00:42:19] You’ve heard the motion. It’s non-debatable, requires 24 votes. All those in favor say aye. Opposed. The ayes have it. Madam secretary, please call the roll.


Irvin [00:42:36] Ballinger, yes. Beckham, yes. Bledsoe, no. Caldwell, yes. Chesterfield, no. Clark, yes. Davis, yes. Dismang, yes. Eads, leave. Elliott, no. English, English. Flippo, yes. Flowers, Flowers. Garner, yes. Gilmore, yes. Hammer, yes. Hendren, no. Hester, yes, Hickey, no. Hill, yes. Ingram, no. Irvin, yes. Blake Johnson, yes. Mark Johnson, yes. Leding, no. Pitsch, yes. Rapert, yes. Rice, yes. Sample, no. Stubblefield, yes. Sturch, yes. Sullivan, yes. Tucker, no. Wallace, yes. [22 yes, 10 no, 2 not voting]


Griffin [00:43:54] Anyone wish to vote or change their vote? Cast– Sen. English, no. Okay. Cast up the ballot. Did you get that? Okay. Cast up the ballot. 22 yeas, 11 nays. The emergency clause fails. Senator English. HB 1982. This is the bill only. No emergency clause.


Secretary [00:44:26] House Bill 1982 by Representative Speaks and Senator English concerning the definition of the four United States congressional districts of Arkansas and to declare an emergency. 


Griffin [00:44:37] Senator English. 


English [00:44:37] Thank you very much. OK, this is the companion bill to the bill we passed yesterday, Senate Bill 743, the redistricting maps. Hope for a good vote. 


Griffin [00:44:54] Senator Hester, are you– you wish to be recognized for a motion? 


Hester [00:44:58] Yes. 


Griffin [00:45:00] OK. 


Hester [00:45:02] Members, the same bill we voted on yesterday. I make a motion for immediate consideration. 


Griffin [00:45:04]  Non-debatable, requires 24 votes. Please call the roll. All those in favor say aye. Opposed. I think I can call that one. The ayes have it. Please call the roll.


Secretary [00:45:28] Ballinger, Ballinger, yes. Beckham, Beckham. Bledsoe, yes. Caldwell, yes. Chesterfield, no. Clark, Clark. Davis, yes. Dismang , yes. Eads, leave. Elliott, Elliott, no. English, yes. Flippo, yes. Flowers, Flowers. Garner, yes. Gilmore, yes. Hammer, Hammer. Hendren, no. Hester, yes. Hickey, yes. Hill, yes. Ingram, no. Irvin, no. Blake Johnson, yes. Mark Johnson, no. Leding, no. Rapert, yes. Rice, no. Sample, yes. Stubblefield, no. Sturch, yes. Sullivan, yes. Teague, no. Tucker, no. Wallace, yes. [18 yes, 12 no, 5 not voting]


Secretary [00:46:53] Anyone wish to vote or change their vote? Senator Hammer is aye. Let’s go slow so Sabrina can get, get the vote. Senator Beckham is aye. Senator Clark is aye. Anybody else over here? Make sure the board reflects your wishes. Anybody over here? Cast up the ballot. 21 yeas, 12 nays, the bill is passed. Return to the House. You wish– Senator Hickey. 


Hickey [00:47:32] Thank you, members. 


Secretary [00:47:33] I need to read the bill. Senate Resolution 34 by Senator Hickey to provide for a recess of the General Assembly and to provide that the 93rd General Assembly will adjourn Sine die no later than October 14th, 2021. 


Hickey [00:47:47] Members, I want to say this about this body that, what I am proud of. Of course, emotions went– are been high on this. We all understand that. But I will say this. There’s one thing that, whenever you all put me as pro tem that I wanted to see is that we were a more deliberative body. We did that. Nobody here can say that we did not deliberate this stuff each and every way. And probably the best deal is even with everything going on, everybody in here maintained their civility is at least from this body. Although those emotions were high, we did that. I want to say thank you. What this resolution does is this is what allows us to adjourn sine die. Now we’re not adjourning sine die as of today. This will be– it’ll happen automatically on October 14 at 12:00 noon if we don’t have to come back in to correct errors or consider vetoes. In addition to that, this is a Senate resolution and the House has one that’s exactly identical. Of course, except it says House instead of Senate. What I am committing to this body, that if there is a veto on any of the bills that have passed, then I am going to call this body back in. I have talked to Speaker Shepherd. Speaker Shepherd has said he will be doing that from the House floor today also. So if anybody wants to come back in, if there’s a veto– or excuse me, let me just say it this way. If there’s a veto, I’m going to want to come back in because that’s what I’ve said I’m going to do. And I’m going to call us back. 


Griffin [00:49:27] Any questions? Senator Ballinger and then Senator Hammer. Senator Ballinger. 


Ballinger [00:49:32] Thank you, Mr. President. If, if we, if we pass this motion for adjournment and the House of the same thing, Senate Bill 731 that has now been transmitted to the House, it would not have an opportunity to have a hearing, correct? So you’re basically, if we, if we pass this motion, then at that point, then we have cut that– that bill will die in the process. 


Hickey [00:49:56] As far as the Senate? No, sir. If the House was to do that, that would be the case. And that may have been your question. You may have stated it that way, but I want to be clear, so everybody here understands that. Of course, as everybody knows, we can’t control what the House does, although I did have the conversation about the resolution. I didn’t have the conversation about what they were going to do with a bill– with that particular bill that passed out of here. 


Ballinger [00:50:21] But it, but it actually requires both houses to not have adjourned in order for us to function, correct? 


Hickey [00:50:29] To not have adjourned? Yes, sir. Both houses would have to pass this. Let’s just say, for some reason, that we pass this today and the House does not pass it, then in all actuality, we could come back tomorrow if we just, if we wanted to with this body. I have talked to the Bureau about that to make sure, just so that I would know how that, that would work. So basically, if both houses do not pass it, then it’s of no consequence. 


Ballinger [00:50:56] But if the House passes that mirror resolution to what we’re about ready to do, then there will be no ability for them to hear that bill. 


Hickey [00:51:05] If, if they pass it before, before those actions, yes, sir, that would be correct. 


Griffin [00:51:14] Senator Hammer, then Senator Garner, I believe. 


Hammer [00:51:18] Thank you, Mr. President. Senator Hickey, you’ve never lied to me. We’ve had our iron sharpening iron moments this session, for which I appreciate. I heard you say a minute ago– I heard you say a minute ago that you would want to call us back into session. Will you commit to call us back into session if the– if the bills that are there are vetoed? Is that your commitment that if the bills are vetoed or we have to come back for a technical correction, it is my understanding that you and Speaker Shepherd will call us back into deal with those matters. Is that correct? 


Hickey [00:52:02] Jimmy Hickey is going to call, is going to call us back in. Yes to your question on me. I have, I have spoken to the speaker, and the speaker has told me that he’s going to announce that also on the House floor today. All I can truthfully commit to, of course, is me in the end. Of course, with my dealings with Speaker Shepherd, his credibility and character is, is excellent and great. So that’s– so, yes, to your question as far as the Senate is concerned, and he has told me he’s going to do that. 


Hammer [00:52:40] All right. I would– Mr. President, I’d like to direct this question to Senator Hickey. But if he’s not able to answer it, I’d like you or Steve to render a clarification on that. Please, may I? 


Griffin [00:52:51] I’m confident in his ability to answer. 


Hammer [00:52:53] Thank you. So so we have Senate Senate Bill 739 and we have House Bill 1877. I’m sorry, Senate Bill 739 is on the governor’s desk. If he vetoes that and it is brought back up for consideration to override the veto, that’s the only thing we would be able to discuss is overriding the veto, not opening it back up for discussion about the emergency clause. Would you clarify that, please? 


Hickey [00:53:23] 100 percent correct. I’m glad you said that. That, that is what– and this is the standard resolution that we would use. It’s for– and its on the second page, starts on Lines 13, for considering vetoes and correcting errors and oversights for the adjournment, which the adjournment will be automatic if there are no vetoes or these corrections that are technical in nature sometime that, you know, that we’d have to come back for. 


Hammer [00:53:56] All right, thank you. 


Griffin [00:53:59] Let me clarify a couple of things, because it’s important I do this at this point. HB 1977, by which the emergency clause failed, the bill still will be transmitted. We will transmit the bill back to the House, even though the emergency clause failed. I had a question about that. The other thing I want to, want to mention, this is a resolution, but it’s really a motion. It’s a motion to recess put in written form. So just wanted to clarify that. Oh, sorry, Senator Garner, question. 


Garner [00:54:35] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. So, you know, after we’ve had this debate about these resolutions and what these should look like, I, I’ve kind of did more of analysis of this. And the part that is troubling to me from my, a reading of it is is that this requires a joint proclamation of both you and the speaker of the House.Now I’m not putting any aspirations on Speaker Shepherd himself, but we did send one of my bills over to the House and due to his ruling said that that was not allowed to be on the call and wouldn’t even be up for a vote. So there has been a precedent set where the Senate has acted as official capacity and then been overruled by the speaker of the House when it came to that, something we deemed reasonable. So what I’m worried is, and this isn’t Speaker Shepherd’s character, but a lot can happen in a week. By this resolution, if he, the House declines to have that veto override, by this resolution were passed and we could not meet to override that veto. Is that correct? 


Hickey [00:55:33] You’re going to be a little more clear to me on that last part. I heard all of that, that stuff at the beginning. Just, just the question, if you don’t mind, sir. 


Garner [00:55:40] If the speaker of the House declines to reconvene, then the General Assembly under this resolution cannot reconvene to override a veto, even if Senator Hickey himself wants to do that. 


Hickey [00:55:52] That would be correct. You’re, you’re, you’re going to have to take the, that the speaker of the House that was elected by the majority of that body, that he’s going to do what he says. Of course, if he states that from the Senate floor, as I would expect you all to and would want you to, if I didn’t come back down here, remove me. 


Garner [00:56:15] OK? Is there any way we could clarify that just to allow the Senate to call itself back in as kind of a separate part of the General Assembly? Would that, you be amenable to that? Or would we still have to rely on the house?


Hickey [00:56:28] [00:56:28]No. 


Griffin [00:56:32] OK. Senator, Senator– apparently, Senator Hickey satisfied your question, Senator Hammer. 


Hammer [00:56:42] May I ask him another one? 


Griffin [00:56:44] Well, after Senator Johnson.


Hammer [00:56:46] Put me in the queue. 


Griffin [00:56:48] We’re not rationing, but–. Senator Hammer– 


Griffin [00:56:59] Thank you. 


Hammer [00:56:59] It’s your time. Thank you. Senator Hickey, I want to say this to you in public. If I choose not to vote for this, it’s not going to be because I think that you would do anything other than what you committed to because in my opinion, you are a man of integrity. You play hardball. You play by the rules. But I just want you to know that as the debate continues, whatever decision I make, if I vote against it, I’m personally publicly telling you it’s not because I question your integrity or that you would do what you said you would do. 


Hickey [00:57:30] I respect, I respect your–


Griffin [00:57:31] I would– let me just say this. Showing grace. Obviously not a question. We do that a lot, but this is a non debatable motion really at its core. So just get the questions, and then we’ll have the vote. Senator Johnson. 


M Johnson [00:57:47] Thank you, Mr. President. Senator Hickey, I talked to you privately about the potential session to consider tax legislation, special session. 


Hickey [00:57:57] I’m having a little bit harder– Mr. President, I’m having a little bit of a hard time hearing. 


M Johnson [00:58:03] Is this a little bit better? 


Hickey [00:58:04] Well, everybody would be quiet in here, it would probably be a lot better, sir.


M Johnson [00:58:10] Thank you, Senator. You and I had a private conversation about the tax, potential tax special session. 


Hickey [00:58:18] Yes, sir. 


M Johnson [00:58:19] And I am asking, and I know you don’t have complete control of that. The governor will make the call of that. But would it be something where if he should do so, it, we could come in on Sine die and sine die and immediately reconvene the session and therefore cut out a lot of extraneous travel and dates like that? Is that something we could do? It’s getting late in the year. 


Hickey [00:58:45] It’s something that we could do, but I do not anticipate that. And that’s why this resolution is written this way. This resolution is written that if those vetoes do not happen, if those corrections are not there, that we will sine die. It will sine die on that date. That’s why it’s written that way. So there’s of no consequence as far as us coming back and then doing that because you all will not be coming back. I won’t be coming back. You know, I’m not saying I’m not going to be down here, but we don’t, we don’t have to do that. 


M Johnson [00:59:19] Okay. Thank you, senator. 


Hickey [00:59:20] Yes, sir. 


M Johnson [00:59:21] Thank you, Mr. President. 


Griffin [00:59:24] Senator Chesterfield. 


Chesterfield [00:59:26] At the end of a session? 


Hickey [00:59:28] This is what we did at the last one and– 


Chesterfield [00:59:31] I’ve been here a long time, and we always say, we’re going to sine– we’re going to come back in and we’ll override any vetoes or not override vetoes, et cetera, et cetera, and deal with the corrections. Is there something unusual about this one? 


Hickey [00:59:43] Well, the speaker, if– well, if you will look and if everybody would look on Page 2. And again, I will be down here, I assume. But it says on Page 2, it says, Line 15, “adjourn the regular session of the 93rd General Assembly at any time before 12:00 noon, October 14, 2020, if they determine it is not necessary to reconvene.” So that would be myself and the speaker. If we determined that it was not necessary to reconvene based upon what’s in line 13 and 14, what we’re discussing, the vetoes and the corrections, if those have not occurred– because the governor has five days to veto, excluding Sundays– everybody needs to remember that– excluding Sundays. So if that time has passed, our Bureau has said there’s nothing of utmost importance as far as errors that may have happened in some of these bills– we know we caught the one with the redistricting, which we’ve already corrected. If there’s something that, you know– unless there was something like that, then we will not have to come back. The body will not have to come back. 


Chesterfield [01:00:45] Will not have to come back. That’s what I thought. Thank you. 


Griffin [01:00:48] Any other questions? Senator Sturch. 


Sturch [01:00:51] Thank you, Mr. President. Senator Hickey, I’m a bit confused. The, kind of the background noise is all about Senate Bill 731 that we just voted on. And I’m under the impression when we have sessions that are three days, the Senate and the House cannot take up the same bill and vote on the same bill on the same day. A committee can, but not on the same business day. So even without your resolution or even with your resolution, it’s not that Senate Bill 731 could even be voted on by the House today. Is that correct? 


Hickey [01:01:23]  I heard it– the same way with Senator Garner, I heard all the first stuff. What is the direct question? 


Sturch [01:01:29] The direct question is Senate Bill 731 was voted on by the Senate today. 


Hammer [01:01:34] Or it will be. 


Sturch [01:01:36] No. 


Hickey [01:01:36] Or no– Senate Bill 731. Right.


Sturch [01:01:38] That’s what I’m saying is the background noise going on. Senate Bill 731 was voted on by this body today. It was sent to the House. The House could vote on it in committee today, but the House as a body cannot vote on the floor of that same bill on the same day. 


Hickey [01:01:50] Unless they suspend their rules to do so. 


Sturch [01:01:53] OK. All right. Thank you. 


Hickey [01:01:55] But again, when they pass, when they pass their resolution, again, they can suspend their rules to do that. 


Griffin [01:02:14] You refer– you referred, Senator Sturch, to the Constitutional prohibition– 


Sturch [01:02:19] I thought it was the Constitution– 


Griffin [01:02:20] –on voting on the same bill, the Senate and House bill on the same day. 


Sturch [01:02:24] I thought it was in the Constitution. 


Griffin [01:02:25] Very nice reference. Any other questions? OK. This is a resolution, but it’s, it reflects non debatable motions. We can– is there anybody that really, really feels like they need to say something on this? OK, good. OK, senator. Ready to– 


Hickey [01:02:47] Yes, I’d appreciate a good vote. 


Griffin [01:02:51] All those in favor say aye. Opposed. All those in favor say aye. Opposed. The noes have it. 


Unknown Senator [01:03:13] Roll call. 


Griffin [01:03:15] Majority of those voting, not 18. Majority of those voting. I saw five hands. Please call the roll.


Secretary [01:03:25] Ballinger, no. Beckham, no. Bledsoe, yes. Caldwell, no. Chesterfield, yes. Clark, no. Davis, yes. Dismang, yes. Eads, leave. Elliott, yes. English, English, yes. Flippo, no. Flowers, Flowers. Garner, no. Gilmore, no. Hammer, no. Hendren, yes. Hester, Hester, no. Hickey, yes. Hill, yes. Ingram, yes. Irvin, Irvin, present. Blake Johnson, Blake Johnson. Mark Johnson, no. Leding, yes. Pitsch, Pitsch. Rapert, no. Rice, no. Sample, yes. Stubblefield, no. Sturch, no. Sullivan, no. Teague, yes. Tucker, no. Wallace, no. [14 yes, 16 no, 3 not voting, 1 present]


Griffin [01:04:55] Anyone wish to vote or change your vote? Senator Pitsch is no. Senator Davis is no. Anyone else? Cast up the ballot. 13 yeas, 18 nays, the resolution fails. Any announcements? You have a– any announcements? 


Hickey [01:05:46] OK, members, the body, the body voted to stay here. I would expect that nobody to leave. We may be calling the roll every time that we come in, just so that the public knows that everybody’s here to do, to do this business that you all are getting paid for and want to stay here. So with that being said, it’ll be at the call of the chair. Miss Sabrina Lewellen will be sending texts out, so nobody will miss it with all the emails that you’re getting. So it will come through text possibly and emails. But if everybody will keep their phone close. 


Griffin [01:06:22] Senator Chesterfield. 


Chesterfield [01:06:24] If the House adjourns, all of this is moot?


Hickey [01:06:28] We’ll be here tomorrow or later today. 


Chesterfield [01:06:32] If the House adjourns. 


Hickey [01:06:34] The, the issue would be then– if, if the House, if the House runs that resolution and passed it that this body did not do, at that point right there, we would have to come back in and I’m going to have to ask for you to expunge the vote by which the resolution failed, which would require 24. And then at that point, we would have to vote it again. And if it fails again, 


Chesterfield [01:07:01] We’ll just be here.


Hickey [01:07:02] We’ll just be here. 


Chesterfield [01:07:03] All right. 


Hickey [01:07:04] Thank you. 


Chesterfield [01:07:06] I’ll be here until the cows come. 


Griffin [01:07:19] Just a clarification. Senator Hickey does not have to expunge. He could file another resolution or he could just make a motion, not in writing in the form of a resolution, as is, as is in the rules and is, and as is custom. Any other announcements? Senator Johnson.


M Johnson [01:07:42] Based on what you just said, would such a motion as opposed to the resolution that Senator Hickey just presented and failed only require a majority to pass, only requiring majority of those present in voting? 


Griffin [01:07:58] Adjournment is non debatable, requires a majority vote of those voting. Correct. 


M Johnson [01:08:03] So just like the resolution? Thank you.


Griffin [01:08:06] Senator Irvin. OK. Anybody else? Any announcements? I’m sorry, Senator Irvin. You’re recognized. Anybody wish to be recognized? We’re in recess subject to the call of the chair. 




October 7, 2021 Part 2


Griffin [00:06:22] Here we are. The Senate will come to relative order. Senator Hickey is recognized. 


Hickey [00:06:33] All right, members. Yes, I wanted everybody back down here because I want everybody to know exactly what the plan is. I want you to ask your questions today. But here’s, here’s the plan. After, after we decided not to pass the resolution, I went down and talked to the speaker and we had a long conversation. And what, and you all may have already seen it. He was going back in, back into session. He decided that he would not try to run the resolution himself. That would have created issues, you know, if they had passed it and we hadn’t that we don’t want to go down. So that was not run. So that was that, that was where we were at with it. Also, I don’t remember the numbers, but Senator Ballinger, your bill? Could you tell me those numbers? 


Ballinger [00:07:24] 731. 


Hickey [00:07:26] As you know, they went back into session, or some of you know, they went back into session. They’ve assigned that to the committee. It’s my understanding, from talking to Senator Rice a minute ago that I think that that committee meeting is at 3 o’clock today. That committee is at 3o’clock today. If that passes out or if it doesn’t pass out, that’s the process within that committee. The House is going to go in at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning. So if that bill was passed out, that bill will be heard on the floor of the House. We are looking to come in at 10 o’clock. I am having another resolution, the same as the one this morning with the difference that we’re going to move the days. So we’re, everything’s going to be bumped today so that everything will still be in place in regards to the corrections and the vetoes. I’m going to give you the same guarantee tomorrow that I gave you today that if any of those bills are vetoed, that I’m going to call us back in. I’ll talk to the speaker again to make 100 percent sure that he’s going to make that statement from the floor also. So is there any questions on where we’re at with any of this process? 


Griffin [00:08:45] Senator Garner, then Senator Elliott. 


Garner [00:08:48] Senator Hickey, I appreciate you having this meeting for the meeting that we are going to have tomorrow. That was– I really like that. And I mean that sincerely. I think we need that information out there. So tomorrow, we’ll come in at 10:00 and then assuming Senator Ballinger’s bill is heard or passed this afternoon, we’ll just kind of wait to see if they pass or fail that, and then we’ll do this resolution after that? Or how does the process of that work? 


Hickey [00:09:07] Well, I made that decision about us coming in later than the House, because here’s the thing. Whether or not they pass that bill on the floor or do not pass that bill on the floor, the process is totally complete. At that time, the House, of course, would, would ask, or the speaker that, that resolution to adjourn Sine die that we’re talking about, he would also do that. I would hope or assume that since the process has taken place, that the membership down there will vote to pass that out. And then I’ll be asking you all to do the same. 


Garner [00:09:43] Thank you, senator. 


Hickey [00:09:44] Thank you, sir. 


Griffin [00:09:48] Senator Elliott. 


Elliott [00:09:49] Thank you. In the event that there there are vetoes or there is a veto, are you looking to call us back on the 14th, I think it was in the resolution– immediately or will it be, we be called back and immediately, according to when the veto is issued, if there is one, that is. 


Hickey [00:10:16] Well, the days, whatever that we put on the resolution, and of course, I don’t have the old one in front of me, we’re going– 


Elliott [00:10:22] I think it’s the 14th. 


Hickey [00:10:23] It’ll be the 8th. And that– was this, was the one this morning the 17th, the one–


Griffin [00:10:30] It was the 7th and 14th. This will be the 8th and 15th. 


Hickey [00:10:33] It’ll be the 8th and the 15th. 


Elliott [00:10:35] But I’m saying we’re still observing that kind of timeline is what I’m trying to get clear. That’s, that– 


Hickey [00:10:41] Yes, ma’am. 


Elliott [00:10:42] That’s right. 


Hickey [00:10:43] Because those vetoes, and I know I said this this morning, that will give us time to come back. And it would be my anticipation that we would basically come back immediately. 


Elliott [00:10:52] Okay, thank you. 


Griffin [00:10:54] And Senator, just to give clarification. Obviously, I don’t, I don’t see a draft here. You would introduce this tomorrow. 


Hickey [00:11:01] No, it’ll be filed today. 


Griffin [00:11:03] Be filed today. 


Hickey [00:11:04] The Bureau’s working on it. 


Griffin [00:11:05] We’ll get a copy of it. OK. And you’re just moving the two dates to the right one day on the calendar. Gotcha. Senator Pitsch. 


Pitsch [00:11:18] This– I’m not exactly sure if this is process to you or question to you. But it resides in that Senate bill 739, Senator Hammer’s bill without an emergency clause is in the governor’s office for final signature. Am I correct in that? And so if we come back tomorrow with 731, which is a different bill, some of us have already voted– well, all of us have voted on it once. If they don’t get an emergency clause down there and pass what we passed without an emergency clause, will that be reconsidered here to do emergency clause and thus have a chance to go back there for another vote on emergency clause? You follow my question? Is that a– 


Hickey [00:12:12] Procedural question. Let me. 


Pitsch [00:12:21] Hang on a second. 


Hickey [00:12:22] And that’s– and he’s saying what I was thinking, but I wanted to make– the bill that we sent does not have an emergency clause. The emergency clause did not pass out. They are voting on it without an emergency clause. 


Pitsch [00:12:37] OK, so they can’t, they don’t have a bill to do an emergency clause either on 731. I guess my point is these bills, for those of us that are yes, that emergency clause clearly has passion behind it. And if we don’t have any option for an emergency clause tomorrow, we would have, what’s the point? I mean, they’ll pass it and then we go to a resolution to close. 


Hickey [00:13:03] And I guess– excuse me, senator. From my standpoint, I don’t know how anybody here could say that the process is not totally played out. And that’s what we’ve got to do at some point, you all. Jimmy Hickey has lost on wanting to hear any of these bills from the first day. I understand that. I’ve resigned myself to that. At some point, the process of this institution, the way we operate, has, has worked. It is the way it is. There’s winners, losers. That’s the way it is. So I’m gonna ask you all the more to do the adjournment for us to leave.


Pitsch [00:13:45] Well, quick follow up and as an example and see if he can weigh in on that, we’ve had that happen on Senator Hammer’s bill. We voted without emergency clause, sent it down there, I assume they– 


Griffin [00:14:01] Senator, Senator Pitsch, let me just answer the question. Of course, they can put an emergency clause on, but we can’t be voted on the same day. It has to go through the process. 


Pitsch [00:14:12] Bingo, you just hit me. That means we can’t resolve this tomorrow if it goes down there and gets an emergency clause.


Griffin [00:14:18] Under that hypothetical, that’s correct. 


Pitsch [00:14:23] Okay, that was the question, whether that could even be done process wise. And it can’t is what I’m hearing. 


Griffin [00:14:33] OK, Senator Hammer, then Senator Ballinger. Senator Hammer.


Hammer [00:14:38] Direct question to you, Mr. President, or to the staff. Senate Bill 739, I understand, has been enrolled and sent to the governor. Is that correct? 


Secretary [00:14:50] Yes, sir. 


Hammer [00:14:51] What is the status of of House Bill 1977? Where, where is it and who is in control of it? 


Secretary [00:14:59] It’s been transmitted to the House, so they have their bill back. 


Hammer [00:15:02] So 1977 has been sent back to the House and it is in their control to do with it, and they could send it back here if they wanted to. 


Secretary [00:15:12] Yes, sir. 


Hammer [00:15:13] Thank you. 


Griffin [00:15:27] So it has been sent? 


Secretary [00:15:29] Yes. 


Griffin [00:15:30] They had already passed that one. It’s gone to the governor’s office. The map is gone. The map, correct? Which, which one is he talking about? Oh, 1977 is, according to the computer, has made it, is on, en route to the governor’s office. 


Hammer [00:15:47] All right. Thank you. 


Griffin [00:15:51] Is that correct?


Hickey [00:15:53] Does everybody understand that one? Excuse me, Mr. President. I didn’t mean to do that.


Griffin [00:15:57] Senator Ballinger. I was just going to– if you’re– 


Ballinger [00:16:00] Just a point of clarification from– it is possible that the House could have, like, I don’t have any control over what the House Public Health Committee could do. They could amend it, and if that happens, the bill could end up back down here. But from my standpoint, I’m not, I am going to object to any amendment. It will be a hostile amendment. From my standpoint, I am– the bill is what it is. We should be done one way or another. If it dies in committee this afternoon or on the floor tomorrow, one way or another, our business should be concluded by 10 o’clock tomorrow. 


Hickey [00:16:33] Thank you. 


Griffin [00:16:34] OK. Any other questions? OK. 


Hickey [00:16:40] 10 tomorrow. 


Griffin [00:16:41] 10 a.m. tomorrow. And anybody have any announcements or anything? So your intention is to–


Hickey [00:16:50] Yes. And here’s the thing, members, we need as many of you all to be here– we need as many of you all to be here as possible. I’m already getting some members that are saying that they’d like to do pairs. And this is what I’m going to ask, this body has always used that as a way to accommodate other members. You will need that at some point. So what I’m going to ask you is that you honor that we’ve done that on this. So if a member asks you to do a pair because they’ve got some business thing that they had already planned because we have been here longer than we should, and they’re not going to be here, I’d ask that you honor that. Thank you. 


Griffin [00:17:35] OK. Any other announcements? Anyone wish to speak? So we’re going to adjourn until tomorrow at 10 a.m.? The Senate’s adjourned till 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, subject to the clearing of the desk, says the Clerk.