This may have been the most unusually chaotic one legislative day as a part of any session I have monitored in my 10 years of being involved in state politics for GSSA. It started innocently enough but began to build to a quiet crescendo as legislators held side conversations centered around the FY21 budget, adjournment resolution, hate crimes bill, and even a rumored positive COVID-19 test at the Gold Dome. The day had many hours of quiet recess in both chambers as compared to active voting on legislation in either chamber.
With all of that said, the Senate approved their version of the FY21 budget along party lines. The House promptly disagreed to the Senate version and then the slowing of business ensued. (A conference committee made up of members from both chambers will meet this weekend to try and hammer out a suitable resolution to the FY21 budget.) So our anticipated hope is a budget will be approved early next week.(could get a weekend surprise and have agreement this weekend) GSSA will watch the weekend developments closely.
The House submitted an adjournment resolution to end the session by next Saturday, June 27, 2020. That just did not get agreement from the Senate so the political process continued to grind to a slow stand off. Then many scheduled committee meetings began to be canceled one by one. Then a few hours later that pivoted in the opposite direction as evidenced by the House Education Committee. It was canceled early in the afternoon then 10 mins before 4pm it was quickly announced it was back on to begin at 4pm. SB 367 was the only bill heard and quickly passed. This is the Student Assessment bill that reduces state testing by 5 more tests. Just another unusual twist to a twilight like legislative day that was turning into early evening. Both chambers came back into session to pass some select legislation then announced they will return Saturday to continue their work. Saturday June 20, 2020, will be Legislative Day 35, continuing what’s turning out to be a very bumpy time of the session. With 6 days remaining in the session it appears that we are witnessing a rush to pass as many bills as possible with the limited time remaining. (one thing i was concerned about)
Whatever happens GSSA will provide a report each day until Sine Die. Not sure of when that will be but we will be on guard until then.
Happy Father’s Day weekend!