Signs point to yes.
On Wednesday, January 16, the Senate passed Senate Bills 1, 2, and 3:
Senate Bill 1, which pertains to the Bank Franchise tax, was assigned to the House Business Uber Alles Committee, will be considered in committee on Wednesday, and likely voted on by Thursday.
Senate Bill 2, which is a tax break for a Dover theatre, was assigned to the House Housing and Community Affairs Committee, will be considered in committee on Wednesday, and likely voted on by Thursday.
Senate Bill 3, which would require legislative input for any deal concerning the Port of Wilmington…was not assigned to any committee. It was not ‘Laid on the Speaker’s Table’, which would permit a vote under rules suspension. (BTW, is it true that the term ‘laid on the table’ was officially banned from the Senate lexicon during the DeLuca years?) SB 3 is officially sitting in limbo:
Would it be too great a stretch to point out how enabling Kinder Morgan to take over the Port might make it easier for their pipelines to navigate ‘many rivers to cross’? Thought so.
Did I point out that Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf alone determines the status of bills introduced in the House? He decides on committee assignments, he decides whether to bypass committees altogether on occasion, and he determines the timeline on committee consideration of bills by determining when to assign the bill. By delaying an assignment for SB 3, and, believe me, he did it on purpose, he makes it impossible for the bill to be considered in committee this week unless he also waives House rules requiring adequate public notice. He made sure that SB 1 and SB 2 could be considered with proper notice, and he made sure that SB 3 couldn’t.
If the Speaker is working with the Governor to bypass legislative consideration of this huge transaction, he is, in effect, conspiring against the concept of the General Assembly as a co-equal branch of government.
I think that’s exactly what he’s doing, and I thought that you should know as well. You know the drill, contact your state representative, and demand that they do their job even if the Speaker won’t. And, if you live in the City, you should probably contact Reps. Charles Potter, Stephanie Bolden, Gerald Brady, and J. J. Johnson, and ask them why they voted for a Speaker who is selling out their constituents.