The Republican majority in the State House and Senate need the votes of the Democratic minority to draw funds from the Constitutional Budget reserve. It takes a three-quarters vote in each chamber to draw down funds. The Republican caucus gas a three-quarters majority in the state Senate; they don’t in the House. To get the operating and capital budgets through, they need the votes of at least some of the Democrats.
After having frozen the Democrats out of any meaningful input through the first 89 days of the session, the Republicans in the State House are now complaining that the Democrats are “holding the State hostage.” Heh. More like chickens coming home to roost.
The Democrats want some of the education cuts restored, they want Medicaid expanded and they want a law requiring schools to give students information about sexual abuse and prevention. And they refuse to go along with the draw on the Constitutional Budget Reserve until they get their way.
So it’s hardball? Hardball is what the Republicans have been playing for 89/90ths of the session. A sensible Republican caucus, a pragmatic Republican caucus might have accommodated Democratic concerns and headed off the usual session-end crisis. But at no point in the current session has the Republican caucus shown and sign of sensibility or pragmatism. The current deadlock was utterly foreseeable; all you had to do was take of your ideological blinders and think ahead a few days. But that is plainly beyiond the talents of the House and Senate leadership. So, having taken the Legislature hostage for the last 89 days, they now complain at the taste of their own medicine.
Good for the Democrats, WC says. Leverage what you can while you can. Serve the public, not Big Oil, ALEC and the majority caucus’s failed strategy.