In spite of some recent reports, we did make progress this week. Let me explain. The special session was called by the Governor with no agreement in place. Also, the Governor's call was broad, which allows for a variety of ideas and plans to be put on the table for consideration. A narrowly-focused call would have moved negotiations along quicker.
The House convened Monday through Wednesday and the House Republicans met Monday through Thursday. We spent less than 30 minutes on the floor of the House, but the rest of the time was spent in lengthy caucus meetings (Caucus meetings are meetings attended by a particular party's members in the chamber in which they serve. There are Republican and Democratic caucuses in both the House and Senate.). In my opinion, we had some of the highest-quality meetings I've experienced while being your representative. We discussed many options and determined which of those options each member could vote for in good conscience and which options were possible with support from our friends across the aisle. It is not easy.
What is clear to me is the House Republicans and House Democrats must work together closely, be honest with one other, be honest with you, and work in a trustful way. We must put the partisan bickering, gamesmanship, and blaming aside and move this state forward through faithful compromise.
On Wednesday, the House and Senate were "adjourned to the call of the Chair." This means members of the House and Senate are not working on your dime. We are not being reimbursed for per diem or mileage expenses with your tax dollars. We will continue to work until we reach a compromise on our own dimes. Once an agreement is reached, we will reconvene and do the work on the floor to get the agreement passed.
I hope we will come to an agreement that is in the best interests of our district and state very soon. The clock is ticking...