As a scheduled adjournment approaches, the inner workings of a State Legislature changes dramatically. The budget is always at center stage, and legislators carrying bills are frantically competing with each other for hearings in committee, special joint committees, and floor votes. Favors are traded, friends rewarded, and enemies punished. If you’re the chair of a major committee, or otherwise in leadership, you’re in the catbird seat. As the deadline approaches, power becomes more and more concentrated, so that, in the end, it may take some phone calls between the Speaker and Senate President to sort out what passes, and what doesn’t. That’s the final cut.
The BBA Task Force’s very own Rep. Yvette Herrell is leading our fight against rescission in New Mexico. She’s in the Minority now, so she has very little power. But what she does have is her reputation and her power to persuade. She’s an attractive, well spoken woman, who is passionate about saving her country.
There are Democrats in New Mexico who don’t worship at the temple of George Soros. They are our best hope. Adjournment is scheduled for a week from tomorrow, and activity in the Capitol goes on until late in the evenings. This is the atmosphere where it’s far easier to kill a bill than pass one. There are a variety of procedural and other gambits which Yvette has at her disposal, and her prospects for success are hopeful. If we can save New Mexico, it’s the same as passing a new State.
In Maryland Tom Llewellyn is marshaling our forces to stop a rescission Resolution, and he is making some progress. Maryland won’t adjourn until two months from now, and until it does we have to watch this legislature carefully. But there is hope.
On the positive side is Arizona, where a floor vote could occur next week, and the vote count of Loren Enns and uber-lobbyist Constantin Querard show a narrow win. It’s not over til it’s over, but this vote looks solid.
Wisconsin State Senator Chris Kapenga has our Resolution up in committee next week, and has indicated he would appreciate the presence of the Task Force’s Dave Guldenschuh. Gary Banz of Oklahoma has been our only contact with Kapenga, and it would be very helpful if Guldenschuh and Kapemga can work together.. Tom Llewellyn reports that the vote count in the Senate still looks good, and the House has never been a problem. There’s really no reason in the world we can’t get Wisconsin, and soon. If there’s one thing the State Legislature of Wisconsin has shown in the last five years: when they want to move a bill, it moves. Kapenga is an extremely capable legislator. I just hope he moves it quickly.
In South Carolina the clouds have given way to a sunny day. A lobbyist retained by Lew Uhler and Dave and Suzie Biddulph has secured the backing of our best hope in the State Senate, and in the South Carolina Legislature.
So, there’s the math. Arizona, 30. Wisconsin, 31. South Carolina, 32. We’re live in Minnesota and Kentucky, so 34 is technically in reach this year. Stranger things have happened. But more likely is that we’ll need the BBA Planning Convention to put us over the top in 2018. At the moment, the location of this, the first Convention of States since 1861, is uncertain. But what is certain is that it will happen.