I’m on the job! HB 121, “Air Quality Amendments” failed to pass out of the Senate Committee today, which essentially killed the bill. However…… through legislative rule, all is not lost. After failing to receive a favorable recommendation from the committee this evening the bill will be returned to the Senate Rules Committee. We will spend the next two days of floor time dealing with bills from our own legislative body (the House hearing House bills and the Senate hearing Senate bills), then state law requires that our last three days be spent hearing bills from the other body (the House hearing Senate bills and vice versa).
At that point, leadership in each body prioritizes all the bills they are sending over for consideration in the other body, which will (mostly) be heard in that order. Following the Senate Committee this evening I was able to meet with House leadership and explain the situation with HB 121. We discussed the Rule that every bill receive at least one committee hearing in each body. It is not required that the bill receive a favorable recommendation in each committee, although that is the tradition. If a bill is prioritized by leadership, it will be heard and voted on, in the case of HB 121, by the full Senate.
HB 121 is a very important bill and represents a good deal of compromise that came from significant debate from all sides of this issue. I was disappointed and frankly very surprised with the outcome of the committee. Several comments from the public and committee members centered around that this bill doesn’t go far enough. I agree. In fact, I was the House sponsor on Sen. Gene Davis’ SB 164, which was more of a game changer than HB 121, and I was certainly hoping it would pass. Unfortunately, it failed by one vote on the Senate floor today. However, it does seem short sighted to turn away a chance to get part of what you want simply because you don’t get all of what you want. It’s this crazy concept called compromise.
Oh, and in response to Miracle Max in The Princess Bride…..my noble cause is clean air. And I’m on the job.