Opening day of the legislature, normally a day of good feelings and conciliatory talk, has a sour note in the state Senate. It’s usually a day for flowers on the desks, guests in the galleries, food and celebrations in the hallways and offices…and a welcome to the new members of the state senate from leaders like pro-tem Michael Gibbons, who calls the senate an institution that has served the people for 186 years, a place known for reaching sensible solutions. Gibbons is a Republican, a member of the majority party. The only person to vote against his election as the leader of the chamber was Senator Tim Green of Spanish Lake, who says Republicans preach bipartisanship but don’t practice it well. Green is still rankled that Republicans cut off democrat debate on last year’s voter photo-ID law that was later thrown out by the supreme court. He says the use of the previous question motion broke senate tradition…. Gibbons shrugs it off, saying that it seems odd Green would act in such an untraditional fashion while blasting Republicans about breaking Senate traditions of unlimited debate. Senate Floor leader Charlie Shields agrees and says Maida Coleman is the floor leader of the democrats, not Green, and Republicans can work wth her…and have.
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