Disagreements, accusations, judgmental remarks, and name-calling have made this a long week in the state senate, where debate was stalled for most of two days before budget work started. And once it started, floor leader Tom Dempsey kept the senate in session until all of the bills were passed—at 2:30 yesterday morning…
One Senator referred to some of his colleagues as a “gang of nine.” Another senator spoke of the appropriations chairman in disparaging terms. And a third senator accused a fellow senator of offering a minor amendment—adding $25,000 for alternatives to abortion services which already had more money than that already in the budget–just to get colleagues on the record about an issue. The day after the contentious budget debate, Dempsey had to step in and stop an escalating argument between the same two senators on the senate floor.
Dempsey says passage of the senate version fo the budget is a “big relief” that lifed a weight from his shoulders.
AUDIO: Dempsey :26
Te senate finished the week by advancing a proposed constitutional amendment changing the makeup of the commission that nominates judges to the state appellate courts and the supreme court. Governors pick from among candidates recommended. The sponsor of the resolution has favored more drastic changes but says he had to agree to a half-loaf proposal to get the bill out of committee.