Monday, April 25, 2005

Senate's Legislative Logjam

It's not unusual for the House and the Senate to squabble over legislation like kids bickering over the last piece of meatloaf. This session, though, it's getting especially bad.

We confirmed this morning that, with five weeks left in the session, the Senate hasn't yet passed a single House bill. By contrast, the House has given the OK to 14 Senate bills (the governor has signed three of them). Why the shutout? Could be that Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and Co. in the upper chamber are a little tired of hearing all about how the Speaker and the House kicked the Senate's you-know-what in negotiations at the end of last session. Holding up House bills could provide the Senate a firmer negotiating position when it comes time for serious horse-trading.

Some major legislation is stalled in a House-Senate stare down, including the overhaul of the workers' compensation system.