27 June 2007

Floor action, Jun. 27: HR 69, HR 75, HR 116

Because of the vicissitudes of the flow of business between chambers, especially when conference committees are involving many senators, the members of the chambers tend to work on some internal housekeeping and engage in moments of jocularity in the last couple of days of the session.

HR 69 would require more information to be provided in amendments to non-state entities to the general appropriations. Rep. Blade Morrish said it would provide more insight into the process.

Rep. John Alario pointed out that, as the resolution stood, noncompliance by the Senate with this would kill the annual HB 1. Rep. Steve Scalise noted that it was much like Morrish’s HB 266. But Rep. Charlie DeWitt faulted the resolution for not bringing in the Senate – even though the Senate had failed to act on HB 266. Morrish pointed out that all the resolution asked for was more information. “It’s not an undue burden, just a simple ask for information.” He did admit that it could create logistical problems.

Alario then offered amendments to limit the resolution’s affect only to House amendments, by allowing two-thirds of the House to waive having the Senate do so. Alario said the resolution would make this kind of information available which he said had been intended in the past but was ruled not possible. The amendments were adopted without objection.

Rep. Jack Smith cautioned about this and other rules changes, saying a bunch of people leaving were making these and that they ought to wait on a new Legislature to make such decisions. But Rep. Ronnie Johns saw nothing wrong with the idea and it being done now.

The resolution passed 91-10.

HR 75 would have changed the way conference committees would have operated, principally making them meet in the open. But author William Daniel IV decided to withdraw the resolution but said he hoped something like it would be considered in the future and apply to both chambers.

HR 116 would allow the state to sell out its annuity stream as a result of a lawsuit settlement with tobacco manufacturers, a motion that has generated great controversy. It was pulled by Alario.

Must have took mine out of there on purpose.
Rep. Troy Hebert, when he found his folder with Senate amendments after claiming he didn’t know where they were.

And, sorry, nobody else can join me on the podium.
Rep. Nick Lorusso, when introducing the New Orleans’ Saints dance team, the Saint-Sations.

I was just looking for Rep. Lorusso’s wife … I know she’s around the chamber somewhere.
Rep. Karen Carter's response

Mr. Speaker, can we get some order over here. It looks like those ladies are getting attacked
It doesn’t look like Mr. Gallot is in attack mode.
Rep. Charmaine Marchand after the group left the podium, with Speaker Joe Salter’s reply.

Mr. Alario, why do you rise?
I was hoping you’d say that, Mr. Speaker.
Mark up one for Alario.
Alario to Salter during a moment of tedium.

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