December 7, 2021
Day 1 of 2nd Extraordinary Session


[Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance]

Griffin: Before I recognize Sen. Hickey, I have a quick announcement. I don’t know if y’all remember pre-pandemic but we often allowed folks to just stand wherever and make motions and all. And during the pandemic, we had the plastic Plexiglass up. It was very hard to hear. We’re going to go back to the old way. We’ve had some confusion with some people lining up to have motions. Some people were just hanging out. Some people were lining up to make a motion. The plexiglass is gone. There were certainly some exceptions during the pandemic when, you know, we just wasn’t thinking or whatever and let people just– I remember Sen. Ingram at one point made a motion to adjourn from the back. You know, that’s cool. We operate on comity – c-o-m-i-t-y To a large degree. But we did have some people come down to the well and make motions because it’s just hard to hear. But the plexiglass is gone, so we’re going to go back to the way it was before. So, you know, just speak up if you’re going to make a motion from your– from your chair. And so just wanted to mention that. No need to queue up, as the British would say, over here.

Senator– 30 seconds. Okay. Okay. Alright.

Any announcements while we– Sen. Pitsch?

Sen. Pitsch and Sen. Rice: Lewis Whorton recognition
Sen. Pitsch: Legislative conference on sportsman’s issues]

Griffin: Senator Hickey, I’ve got a couple of questions for you. Have we notified the house that the Senate is organized and ready for business?

Hickey: We have– we’re going to text them that.

Griffin: That’s being done through electronic means and the governor as well– notified the governor as well that the Senate is organized and ready for business?

Hickey: Yes.

Griffin: Sen Hickey.

Motion to suspend the rules on requiring a day between referral to committee hearing

Hickey: Okay, members, this is housekeeping. It’s the same thing that we do for every special session. What we do is I’ll make a motion that we suspend Senate rule 7i. As most every one of you all know that– what that is where we usually say that no bill or resolution introduced and referred to committee may be considered until at least one day has passed. We suspend that whenever we’re in a special session. So I’d appreciate a good vote.

Griffin: It’s a non-debatable motion. Senator, for what purpose do you rise?

Garner: It was to ask a question about the motion, but if it’s non-debatable, I’ll sit down.

Griffin: Not debatable. All of those in favor, say aye. All opposed? Ayes have it. Motion is adopted.

Any items at the desk?

Cromwell: [Reads governor’s call]

Cornwell: [SR 1 by Sen Hickey]

Griffin: Calendar.

Cornwell: [SR 2 by Sen. Rapert]

Griffin: Calendar.

Cornwell: [SR 3 by Sen. Hammer]

Griffin: Calendar.

Cornwell: [SMR 1 by Sen. Elliott]

Griffin: Calendar.

Cornwell: [SB 1 by Sen. Dismang]

Griffin: Revenue and Tax.

Cornwell: [SB 2 by Sen. Dismang]

Griffin: Revenue and Tax.

Cornwell: [SB 3 by Sen. Dismang]

Griffin: Joint Budget.

Cornwell: [SB 4 by Sen. Dismang]

Griffin: Insurance and Commerce.

Cornwell: [SB 5 by Sen. Hickey]

Griffin: Joint Budget.

Cornwell: [SB6 by Sen. Sample]

Griffin: State Agencies.

Cornwell: [SB 7 Sen. Rice and Sen. Sullivan]

Griffin: Public Health.

Objection to germaneness of Senate Bill 8

Cornwell: [SB 8 Sen. Rapert]

Griffin: For what purpose does the gentleman rise?

Dismang: I object.

Griffin: Please state the basis for your objection.

Dismang: I do not believe that this bill is germane to the call. It does not fit the parameters of the call.

Griffin: So he’s asking the chair to rule on my view of germaneness with regard to SB 8. I anticipated this was coming and I’ve met with and spoken with Steve Cook more than he would like. Some of you– most of you were here when we dealt with the issue of germaneness with the extended session. The case that I relied heavily upon at the time was Wells v. Riviere. That case is not particularly helpful here because that deals with an extended session.

The Arkansas Constitution states that no other business not set forth therein, meaning the call for the special session, shall be transacted until the same shall have been disposed of, etc. The operative language is ‘no other business.’ There’s not a lot of clarity in terms of other references to that term business in the state const, so we have to look for some guidance there. The first thing I did just to educate myself, I started to look at other state constitutions including the state of Kentucky, which instead of business, it talks about subjects. Subjects seems to me much broader than– it is a broad term. Mississippi talks about subjects or matters. Matters– if you limit it to matters, that seems more specific in the English language than the word subject. Alabama doesn’t mention subject and matters, it mentions only matters, which is very specific. But none of those that I looked at mention business.

Of course, there is case law on the issue of what business means. And, in particular, there’s Jones v. State, there is also Pope v. Oliver that deal with this issue of germaneness. What the courts have decided to do over the years is define the word business– no other business– broadly as the term subject. Let me read a couple of annotations. “ The legislature may act freely within the call upon any upon all or any subject specified. And the presumption will be in favor of the legislature and the regularity of the action.” Another quote is, “A wide range will be conceded to the legislature in deciding what comes within the purview of the call.”

I want to be really clear about this, and I don’t want any noise from the gallery. This is not a football contest. I will ask that the– that the Troopers remove anybody who yells out or cheers like last time. My ruling last time had nothing to do with my view of the bills at issue. In fact, there were some of the bills at issue last time that were allowed that I didn’t like. This is the same case here. I’m doing what I’m supposed to do under the ruling. If y’all don’t like it, it only takes 18 to change that.

But I don’t see how in the world a bill dealing with a tax credit is not germane to the subject of dealing with tax cuts and tax credits generally. Now the legislature gets a lot of leeway, and I can’t save y’all from what y’all have the ability to do, which is to kill anything, to overrule me, to do whatever. But I believe it germane, and that’s my ruling.

The Senator is recognized.

Dismang: Thank you. I’d like to make– I’d like to appeal the ruling of the chair to the floor.

Griffin: You’ve heard the motion to appeal the ruling of the chair. All those– anyone wish to be recognized? All those in favor– you wish to be recognized?

Pitsch: For a point of clarification. Senate Bill 8 is filed and was filed in time for us to see that? I currently don’t have that in front of me.

Griffin: I have not– i have not sent it to Revenue and Tax, but it is right here if that’s your question.

Pitsch: When, when was it filed?

Griffin: Hour and a half ago, approximately. You need a copy of it?

Pitsch: I, I’m just wondering about the entire community. If we’re voting on the germaneness of a bill and the appeal of it, and many of us have not had time to study it, how could we do that?

Griffin: Well, okay. That’s a separate issue to germaneness. I got it this morning as well, so. Sen. Rapert, then Sen. Garner. Sen. Rapert.

Rapert: Thank you, Mr. President. And of course, if we need to come to the well at some point, we can do that.

Griffin: [bangs gavel] Please proceed.

Rapert: I appreciate the ruling of the chair. Actually, if I could address, by way of the chair to say this Senate Bill 8 was actually a backup situation here and obviously Senate Bill 8 and Senate Bill 9 that will be coming, you’ll have the same opportunity to rule on that as well. The provisions that’s been added to Senate Bill 1 by taking that entire bill and adding a full-time law enforcement officer tax credit, Sen. Pitsch, so it is exactly the same as the stand-alone bill of Senate 9 that is coming up next, which would have the same discussion points. And so, to your point, because you know I have emailed members and have provided draft language in the backup to that, Senator.

Griffin: Sen. Garner, do you wish to be recognized?

Garner: Yes, sir. Point of clarification. A yes vote would be to overrule the chair’s decision, thus ruling this non-germane, and a no vote would be to sustain the–your motion, allowing this to be germane. Is that correct? I just wanted that clarification for everybody.

Griffin: A yes would be in agreement with Sen. Dismang to overrule my ruling. Anybody else? Sen. Clark.

Clark: Yes, to Sen. Pitsch’s point, you have ruled that the bill is germane to the call and so to vote that it is not germane– to vote yes that it is not germane, one would have to have studied the bill and know that it is not germane. Otherwise, there would be no reason to vote against the rule of the chair.

Griffin: Anybody else? All those in favor say aye. Opposed? The ayes have it. The– Sen. Dismang’s motion is carried. We have the hands– one, two, three, four– we have five hands. Madam Secretary, please call the roll.

Yes, you are agreeing with Sen. Dismang, and you are overruling my rule.

23 yes, 9 no, 2 leave

Yes: Beckham, Bledsoe, Caldwell, Chesterfield, Dismang, Elliott, English, Flippo, Flowers, Gilmore, Hendren, Hickey, Hill, Irvin, B. Johnson, Leding, Pitsch, Rice, Sample, Sullivan, Teague, Tucker, Wallace

No: Ballinger, Clark, Davis, Garner, Hammer, Hester, M. Johnson, Rapert, Stubblefield

Leave: Ingram, Sturch]

Griffin: 23 yeas, 9 nays, the motion is carried. My ruling that the bill is germane has been overruled. The Senate has determined it is not germane.

Objection to germaneness of Senate Bill 9

Cornwell: [SB 9 by Sen. Rapert]

Griffin: Sen. Dismang is recognized.

Dismang: Object. I do not believe the bill is germane to the call.

Griffin: My ruling would be the same as the other.

Dismang: I make a motion to appeal the ruling to the floor.

Griffin: You’ve heard the motion to appeal the ruling. Sen. Rapert?

Rapert: Alright, then I wish to make comments.

Griffin: Please comment.

Rapert: Members, I do ask you to consider the fact that this is actually a provision that was stated in the spring. The Tax and Revenue Committee had an opportunity to hear it. I was asked not to vote the bill so that we could turn around and handle this after we were at the end of the fiscal year and that we also knew what the federal rules were going to be as it related to rescue funds. We did that. We didn’t have a vote.

Members on the Senate Tax and Revenue Committee included the leader of the Senate. I talked with Sen. Hickey about it at that time. They didn’t want to vote the bill, and I said I understand that. If we can take it up at a future date, I’d like to do that. The understanding is when we come back to deal with income tax cuts that we would deal with this particular issue. Many, many members were in support. We have nearly 50 cosponsors of this law enforcement officer tax credit. The Sheriff’s Association supports it. The Chiefs of Police Association supports it. Arkansas State Police. I was just informed the Arkansas Wildlife Officers Association wants their name added to that too, so I’m stating that. Multiple quorum courts, multiple city councils all across the State of Arkansas have actually voiced their support through written resolutions. The governor’s task force put in months of work and recommended that we pass a tax credit to support law enforcement officers. That promise has not been fulfilled to this point, and Arkansas is 49th lowest in the nation in terms of our pay for the average law enforcement officer. Sheriffs have stated we have a crisis in Arkansas with being able to retain talent and recruits to serve in law enforcement officers. There is no other class in the state that actually puts on a badge and a gun every single day and they run to the crises in our state.

When people say when we open this up, we would have to do this for other groups. Well, we raised pay for teachers. We have put tax credits in for military retirees. I supported those things. But it is not right for us to keep putting these people off. We have a crisis in the nation with the defund police. And many of us in here, if not all of us, will say we back the blue. But how can we honestly say we back the blue when we’re starving them at 49th in the nation? We have $25 million that’s all that’s requested for a $3,000 income tax credit so that these law enforcement officers can get some relief. We have $70 million accumulated in surplus over and above our fiscal projects right now. We got $1.2 billion in long term reserve funds. We’ve put over $400 million in broadband that I support. But I’m here to tell you that one of the priorities in this state should be funding the police and law enforcements for safety and security. The lieutenant governor has already ruled once that this is germane. I obviously support that ruling.

And there is no reason that we can’t actually make a decision on this bill. You simply support it or not. It’s not going to take any heavier lift or time than what we do anything else. That’s the reason I run the bill, to get a ruling on the bill, for us to be able to support it. And I know the counties, quorum courts and city councils around the state have actually asked you to support. And I sat with the governor himself and Rep. Slape, and I said, “When are you going to support what the task force said to do?” And he said, “Well, just not now.” That was the same excuse that was given to us in the spring. So I’d ask you to please allow us to back the blue here in Arkansas. And as Rep. Slape said this morning and I’ve said myself, if we back the blue, we should put our money where our mouth is. Thank you, Mr. President.

Griffin: I apologize if I wasn’t clear. You still need to come to the well to speak on legislation. I was talking about motions. We had changed the rule on motions– didn’t really change the rule, but I just encourage people strongly to come down to the well. You don’t need to do that on motions anymore. We don’t have the plexiglass. But please do come down if you’re speaking for or against a bill or a motion. Is that clear? I apologize for not being clear. Sen. Clark?

Clark: I don’t think it could be more clear that a bill that is an exact duplicate of the bill on the call except for an extra tax credit is germane. So the issue then becomes who’s power? Several– not several– a couple have told me that they were against the bill because of beliefs that they held about government. Fine. Vote against the bill. But I know that your beliefs about separation of powers have to be firmly held. I know that you were not happy about the executive orders coming out of the Obama administration. You weren’t happy with the executive orders coming out of the Trump administration. You’re not happy with the executive orders coming out of the Biden administration. And that has not happened from presidents taking power. That has happened from Congress giving away their power. And I have watched in the time that I have been here as we have given away power session after session after session after session. And it does not matter who the governor is. This vote is a precedent. And I would make it carefully. If you’re against the bill, vote against the bill. But you rule that this bill is not germane, you have ruled that a governor decides what we will meet on and that no legislator can file anything else. That’s what you’ve decided. Because the lieutenant governor made the correct decision. Thank you.

Griffin: Anyone else? Sen. Stubblefield. Okay, and then Sen. Hendren.

Stubblefield: Sen. Clark, do you agree that this bill really defines what kind of state we want to live in in regards to our law enforcement and the safety of our citizens?

Clark: I do, but, but Sen. Stubblefield, that’s not the vote. That, that, that, that–

Stubblefield: I agree. I understand that. Would you agree that this bill really defines the direction that we want to go in in regards to our law enforcement and support of our law enforcement and the safety of our citizens in relation to what’s gone on in our country over the last two years?

Clark: I agree. And if we’re trying to avoid a vote, we’re not avoiding a vote.

Griffin: Sen. Hendren has a question if you wish to take it.

Clark: I’ll stay.

Griffin: Sen. Hendren.

Hendren: Thank you, governor. And Sen. Clark, to your point about germaneness rather than the content of the bill, I would assume that you would agree that whether or not something is germane is relative to whether or not it’s on this document– the call, correct?

Clark: I– the– I think that germaneness is defined in the dictionary– I think the governor– the lieutenant governor did a great job of defining germaneness.

Hendren: Germane to what though?

Clark: Germane.

Hendren: To the call.

Clark: If, if– since you asked me the question, Sen. Hendren, I will answer it fully. If, if we’re going to get to the point that we’re going to have a call that is so afraid that legislators may also put a bill out there that we’re going to get down to actually putting the, the actual– we just as well have put the full bill in the call. Then again, back to giving away our power when the lieutenant governor who is here– why in the world would we want to disagree with the lieutenant governor and say, no, let’s do what the governor wanted, what he was obviously trying to do and say no legislator can file a bill when we’re already got a ruling here that says just the opposite.

Hendren: Okay. With respect, to answer the question fully, the question was when we talk about germaneness, that is with respect to germane to the call. And the reason I ask that is because when you look at the call, you’re right, it is very specific about why we have been called down here. And in fact it mentions specifically to provide a non-refundable personal income tax credit for up to $60 for individuals having an income up to $24,700. That’s pretty specific, and I guess the question we’re asking before the Senate today is: Is a different tax credit that’s nowhere mentioned in the call germane to that? That’s my question is– don’t you think whether it’s written in here or not is what we’re trying to decide?

Clark: The, the germaneness– what you asked is is can it be written that specifically. And if the legislature wished for the executive branch to have that power, then absolutely. But it’s already been ruled here today that no, it’s– according to what we’ve looked at other places, look at here, that it should not be written that specifically, can’t be written that specifically and that this is in fact germane because it is– the last bill was ruled germane. This one is in fact the same bill with an addition to it. So again, this is– this was with a ruling that, that the legis– that legisla– that legislators have power. This is you saying, no, we don’t want power, we want the governor to have the power or we’re avoiding a vote we think so that we can say, oh, I didn’t vote against that. But I’m telling you right now, the people are smarter than that. But I would rather vote against it than give away my power to the executive branch, because it’s not more power. I represent 90,000 people and we keep giving their power away and that’s why we’ve got this garbage that keeps coming down to us, and people keep having their freedom taken away because we’re the ones supposed to stand up for it.

Griffin: Sen. Rapert has a question, then Sen. Garner.

Rapert: Yes, I will sit so you can hear me closer here, Sen. Clark. Appreciate your passion. I just want to ask some questions for clarification. We’ve just heard 10 different call items that have been read across. Is that correct?

Clark: Yes.

Rapert: Two of those call items: Number 1mentions personal income tax credits. 7 mentions income tax credit, but that’s just two of 10. So to say that we came down here with one item is really not exactly the truth, because we have 10 items that are listed, correct?

Clark: Correct.

Rapert: And within the omnibus, I will just say so the people know that I actually asked for an amendment to simply be made to the omnibus bill to include this tax credit which would have been no problem at all. But there just seems to be some obstinance. And I also just want to ask, I have looked up several definitions of germaneness, Senator Clark, and this definition stated here that it just has to be relevant to a subject under consideration– relevant to that. This is an income tax credit. It deals with law enforcement officers. This is a well known subject. And wouldn’t you not say that we don’t need to be redefining what these terms mean just for convenience?

Clark: I would agree. Evidently any amendment to legislation by the legislature would not be germane.

Griffin: Sen. Garner.

Garner: Thank you. That was essentially my question, that if we took such a legalistic narrative from the viewpoint of germaneness, wouldn’t that kind of stifle the legislative process. Say if tomorrow we discover there’s a problem in one of these bills and we try to amend it, if we go by definitionally in the call, that would be a different item on there and set us up for a legal precedent in court to have things overturned. Wouldn’t you agree with that sentiment?

Clark: Yeah, I wish I’d have brought a rubber stamp down here with me, Sen. Garner, because that’s evidently all that we can do.

Griffin: Sen. Johnson.

M Johnson: Sen. Clark, following the logic that Sen. Hendren brought forth, and I’ve got the call in front of me so I’ll quote directly from it: “To provide a non-refundable personal income tax credit for up to $60 or individuals having a net income of up to $24,700. If, if, if that’s the case– if you use the logic that that’s the only thing that you can consider, would that mean that we could not, for example, have a bill that gave a $50 tax credit or a $70 tax credit. And if that’s the case, would you agree that we could cut this session even shorter, save the taxpayers some more money if we didn’t send any bills to committee, if we just let certain bills be introduced, have no debate, call them up for a vote, have everybody vote on them, and then we can go home and celebrate Christmas. Would that be a logical consideration?

Clark: I think that we could make certain editorial writers happy and never meet at all.

M Johnson: Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Mr. President.

Griffin: All those in favor, say aye. Opposed? Let’s do it again. All those in favor, say aye. Opposed? Ayes have it. Sen. Dismang’s motion’s carried. One, two, three, four, five– five hands. Madam secretary, please call the roll.

21 yes, 11 no, 2 leave
Yes: Beckham, Bledsoe, Caldwell, Chesterfield, Dismang, Elliott, English, Flippo, Flowers, Gilmore, Hendren, Hickey, Hill, Irvin, B. Johnson, Leding, Pitsch, Rice, Sample, Teague, Tucker

No: Ballinger, Clark, Davis, Garner, Hammer, Hester, M. Johnson, Rapert, Stubblefield, Sullivan, Wallace

Leave: Ingram, Sturch]

Griffin: 21 yeas, 11 nays. Sen. Dismang’s motion’s carried. My ruling on germaneness is overruled. The bill is not germane, according to the vote of the Senate.

Cornwell: [SB 10 by Sen. Wallace]

Griffin: Revenue and Tax.

Cornwell: [SB 11 by Sen. Garner]

Griffin: Revenue and Tax.

Objection to germaneness of Senate Bill 12

Cornwell: [SB 12 by Sen. Garner]

Griffin: Sen. Chesterfield, then Sen. Tucker. Sen. Chesterfield.

Chesterfield: I object to it being germane to the call.

Griffin: Okay, this– I’ve looked at the bill. And, one second, Senator. I’ve looked at this bill. It is not germane to the call. And let me elaborate on some of the reasons I stated earlier. The law is very clear. Let me finish– let me– for what purpose did the gentleman rise?

Garner: Yes, sir. I just wanted a clarification. This bill was not supposed to be heard during this part. It was just filed to be a preliminary part. So there should be no debate about germaneness. It should not be assigned to committee. It should be held here in the Senate until that point. That’s what I told the staff at that point. I’m not trying to pull anything on. I know it’s not germane to the call. We shouldn’t even have the debate. Let’s move on.

Griffin: Well, I’m going to finish my statement anyway. I don’t get much opportunity to do this, and I’m going to use it. The law’s very clear. The governor cannot put the call here and limit the call to the text of the call. Can’t do that. The law is very clear. I’m going to read a couple of quotes. “The legislature may act freely within the call upon all or any subject.” Also, “A wide range will be conceded to the legislature in deciding what comes within the purview of the call.” To put it in terms that I understand, the gov can call everybody to a breakfast special session, but he cannot require everybody to have two eggs, Petit Jean bacon, and cheese grits, although that sounds quite appetizing. If y’all decide once the call’s here you want some country ham instead to be distinguished from city ham, you can do that. There’s some flexibility. That’s what the cases say. That’s what the intent is. So, my ruling is it’s not germane. But the Senator– so you’re going to pull this down? Okay.

Anything else at the desk? Sen. Hammer.

Procedural inquiries

Hammer: Question of inquiry please. You just– you just made the statement that the law says what we can and cannot do, but then did I understand you to say– and I just want verification on this about what the Senate did a while ago by overriding your determination, we have that flexibility in the law to be able to do that?

Griffin: Yeah, it’s my interpretation of the law based on what I have before me. And you can override me with 18 votes. And you did. Twice. And the last session we had, you didn’t. Yeah. Yes, Sen. Hendren.

Hendren: Yeah, I’ve got a question as well, either for you or for Steve over there with regard to the process here forward because, again, we’ve just heard we’ve got one bill that’s been filed that’s I guess being held at the desk, and I know we may have a couple of others. So since we’ve addressed the germaneness issue, I guess, moving forward, what is the process to get a bill considered outside of what has just been read across the desk?

Griffin: Well, there’s always the option of an extended session after the matters on the call have been dealt with.

Hendren: And what’s the number of votes required to extend the session?

Griffin: Two thirds of both houses.

Hendren: Is that the only method remaining at this point?

Griffin: Yes, I mean, if something is germane to this call, which, for example, we’ve already had one that’s not, then if they’re germane they can be handled right now. Now, you may end up with a timing issue. I’m not going to– I can’t speak to who’s going to do what in the next few days to– but, but generally the extended session is how you do that unless it’s germane to this call.

Hendren: And that cannot even be considered until all of the bills on the call have been passed.

Griffin: That is correct.

Hendren: Okay. Thank you.

Rapert: Question.

Griffin: Sen. Rapert.

Rapert: Question. In related to the germaneness issue that we are dealing with, is it not a true statement that during this session– a 3-day called session or the hopes that it’s three days– the rulings that the bills are germane or not germane does not open the session whatsoever, it’s just saying are they germane to the call. Is that correct, lieutenant governor?

Griffin: That, that’s correct. I mean, the session is limited to what is germane to the call as determined by me or ultimately by the body which can overrule me, which has happened twice.

Rapert: So there is no decision or debate that has been discussed here today that actually opens up the session to anything and everything. We simply are ruling on whether bills are germane or not to the call. Correct, sir?

Griffin: That, that, that’s correct. I will say, even things that are clearly not within the legal definition of germaneness, the body if they voted could overrule my ruling on that if that’s what they decided to do. So you ultimately have the power.

Rapert: Thank you.

Griffin: Okay. Senator– I know you wanted to say something, Sen. Hickey. Okay. Any– don’t say that. Sen. Johnson.

M Johnson: Mr. President, could you clarify what the procedure would be if, for example, I have a bill drafted that I would like to possibly introduce if we get to the point where we’ve completed the items in the call and would vote to extend. Is there a procedure in place such as Sen. Garner had just brought about where you can have a bill, it can be filed but it can’t be read across the desk for first reading until that time. Is there a guideline that you could share with us?

Griffin: We have to have a vote in this chamber, in the other chamber, two-thirds vote to extend.

M Johnson: But could that bill be turned over to the Bureau and sent to the Secretary but not read across the desk? In other words, it would have a bill number, I guess, is what I’m saying.

Griffin: It could be filed but not read.

M Johnson: Okay, thank you sir.

Griffin: Which may have been the intent of the other, and that’s why he pulled it down. I don’t know why it ended up here, but it did. Any announcements? Any committee announcements– Sen. Dismang.

Dismang: And I’m not sure– I’m not aware of what the status is of the other chamber, but Joint Budget will meet upon adjournment of both chambers today. So we have three bills to take up. Two of them are the same, so really two items to consider. They’re adjourned? Okay. So Joint Budget will meet here shortly. So if you can make your way if you’re on Joint Budget.

Griffin: Sen. Elliott.

Elliott: Yeah, I’m not sure who this question is for but I would just like to know when we’re going to have the bills posted online and what– so people can know what day, which bills are going to be heard because I’m trying to answer that question for some people and I don’t know how to do that.

Griffin: I believe that the bills are already–

Elliott: Have they been posted? And so then they’ll– well, this is what I’m trying to get clarified for people who are thinking that a bill will be posted and they will have until the next day to know when we are going to hear those bills, and that’s what needs to be clarified.

Griffin: Do you mean in committee?

Elliott: In committee– I mean in committee. I don’t have an answer for folks.

Griffin: I’ll let the committee chairs speak. Sen. Hickey, do you want to?

Hickey: Members, we did a motion to suspend that. Those bills will be heard this afternoon in those committee meetings that are already scheduled. Just the same way with Joint Budget, we’re about to leave here and we’ll go straight there to hear those, and then Revenue and Tax will meet this afternoon and we’ll hear any of those bills that legal has assigned to them.

Elliott: So for people who are wanting to come and testify, it needs to be made really clear. Not for us. But when we suspend a rule like that, I just want to make sure we– they need to know what that means and they don’t know. So that’s why I want to get the clarity out there so people will know it doesn’t mean that they’re going to have an opportunity to just wait and come 24 hours later.

Hickey: Yes, ma’am. If I may, and again, this is just the bills that have been placed on the call which was–

Elliott: I understand. And the interest is in– about the bills that are on the call, one in particular.

Griffin: Normally there would be an intervening day, but because of the brevity of this session there was a motion made to suspend and that’s why that normal intervening day rule is not–

Elliott: Yeah, I’m clear about that, because we’re supposed to get out in a certain amount of time. The public is not clear on that.

Griffin: Roger that. Roger that. They can be heard today, and that was the– that was what the motion resulted in.

Elliott: Understand. Thank you.

Griffin: I’m just saying it out loud so the public– Sen. Sample. Announcement from Sen. Sample.


Griffin: 0900. The Senate is adjourned until 0900 tomorrow, 9 a.m., subject to the clearing of the desk.