Monday, September 24, 2007

Meanwhile...we are not allowed to speak from the floor

It is normal protocol for members who have questions on a bill to have an opportunity to ask questions. If the board is open for a vote, the member must ask for the board to be cleared. The Speaker presiding can, at his discretion refuse to clear the board, but it is common courtesy to at least allow the member to ask the question from the floor. Not this Speaker. He won't even recognize Republicans to speak.

What is really interesting about this is what Speaker Dillon said to the caucus when he was first elected Speaker. He wanted to be sure that we knew he would NEVER treat Republicans the way we treated the Dems when we were in power.

He said this on that great day in January when he took the gavel, "Agendas will be published, every member will be recognized and everyone will be allowed to read a bill or an amendment before they have to vote on it, no exceptions!

Just moments ago, they put up a substitute for the Senate appropriations bill SB229. It spends over $65 million for "general government". The sub was put up on our computers literally 30 seconds before we were asked to vote on it. It is a 148 page bill. When we stood to ask the board to be cleared so we could read the bill, or at least have an explanation of it, we were denied. We couldn't even ask.

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