The following question was raised by an astute reader who commented on a Capitol Times story earlier today: Can the Legislature vote on a budget this Saturday, June 27, considering measures must be read in chamber three times and on different days?
The short answer is “yes,” but it deserves further explanation.
The background is that the Legislature technically read the bills for the first time when they introduced “trailer bills” on Thursday. The trailer bills are simply vehicles on which to place budget language when the final agreement has been hashed out.
That means, since lawmakers gave the bills a second formal introduction on Friday afternoon, they’re all set to third-read and vote on the measures on Saturday.
The Legislature also could avoid the pesky requirement to read bills on three seperate days before a vote by suspending rules, which the commentor brought up as a possibility. But suspending rules would require a supermajority vote in the House (the commentor also brought this up, and is totally right on), which might be difficult in this political climate.
So, they could feasibly vote on the bills Saturday. But there’s a lot of room between “could” and “will.”