The two-year legislative session wound down Thursday by 5:00 p.m., but it was a little close. With less than 30 minutes left in the regular business calendar, the Senate vote was tied 20 -20 on the state budget. All in one day on Thursday, the budget conference committee reached a new plan, the House passed it after a couple of tries, then it was up to the Senate to end the session on time.
The Senate earlier had made provisions to stay longer Thursday or even Friday to pass the conference report. The bills had to match, or the House would be called back in.
Senate Finance Chair Hugh Leatherman explained that they had to make cuts to health care and prevention-and they were hard cuts.
After the tie vote and some last-minute grandstanding, the Senate reconsidered and passed the budget by 22-16 –with seven minutes left in the session.
The Senate has adjourned to reconvene on June 15, under a provision called Sine Die, to deal with any budget vetos by the governor.