Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A comedy of errors as Assembly takes up budget fixes

February 22, 2010 5:06 pm
Sometimes, things just don’t work out as intended. Such was the case during the Assembly’s floor session Monday as lawmakers struggled to pass a patchwork of fixes for California’s budget deficit.
Predictably, partisan squabbling immediately broke out. GOP lawmakers accused Democrats of rushing the process. Assemblyman Charles Calderon (D-Montebello) chastised Republicans, sniping that they were in the “big leagues” now and that the legislation had been publicly available since last week.
One by one, bills were taken up. Except there was a problem.
“We've posted and voted on the wrong set of bills," announced Assembly floor leader Alberto Torrico (D-Newark). Murmurs spread across the chamber. And, moments later, the previous votes were “expunged” -- as in, erased from the public record -- as the Assembly began taking up the proper bills.
To which GOP Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries of Lake Elsinore retorted, “Is this the big leagues?” amid much uproar on the Republican side of the aisle.
The flubs didn't stop there.

Only minutes later, the chairwoman of the budget committee, Assemblywoman Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), began introducing legislation to collect sales tax on Internet purchases, among other tax code changes. But the Assembly leadership had already decided not to take up the bill.
Assembly Speaker-elect John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) hustled into the chamber and onto the floor to stop the vote before it started. The bill was shelved and sent back to committee.
-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento
Submitted by Jim Wagner

1 comment:

Carol M said...

We can only hope it doesn't get to the point where legislators start pressing the voting buttons of others while nobody's looking.