As of 11:00 p.m. we adjourned without taking a vote on any tax increases. You will hear any number of explanations for what happened tonight, and indeed, there was some high drama and there will be plenty of spin.
For what it is worth, here is my take on it. Since the governor submitted her budget with at least a $500 million revenue shortage, the House leadership, through the appropriations process increased spending to $2 billion more than revenue. Now that we are in the eleventh hour, with only three weeks to reconcile revenue to spending (which the constitution requires) we have to either cut spending or raise revenue. The House passed the budgets through with a $2 billion shortfall. The Speaker thought he had the votes for a tax increase to cover the spending increase. He expected to get some Republican votes. That was doubtful at best, but the Republicans who were willing to consider a tax vote have been telling the Speaker since April that they wanted to see reforms first.
All we saw was a huge increase in spending. The votes for a tax increase were not there, so we called it quits for the day. What happens next? Say tuned...we reconvene next Tuesday.