Monday, January 27, 2014

On to the 3rd reading!


I'm allowed to be silly and giddy with excitement.....

SB259 was engrossed and advanced to its 3rd reading today! Hooray!

Back when I first started following this session of the General Assembly, I would have had no idea what that meant. But now I know that it meant the bill successfully passed its 2nd reading.

...The reading where legislators can start some drama... if they want.

Last week when the bill reported to Senate from Committee, it passed 12-1. I was a little bummed- but not surprised- about the 1 "No."
But today, I was really excited about it.

Because it meant that I got THIS:

30 seconds of awesome.

So, I'll explain.

If the vote had gone 13-0, the bill would have been in the "uncontested" calendar. Usually they go through the uncontested bills pretty fast- a senator (not sure yet how they pick who does this; this session it seems like it is always Senator Norment) will move that all bills on the uncontested calendar on their (x) reading be engrossed and advanced to the next step. Then they vote to advance them all forward as a group, and afterward, the clerk reads out just the numbers of all of the bills in the group, in case a senator wants to speak up about a specific bill before moving forward, or delay it for a day.... etc.

But the bills that aren't uncontested- meaning, they had at least one "No" against them- go on the Regular Calendar.

These are usually each read individually- the number, title, and a summary. Then the sponsoring Senator will stand and move that the bill be engrossed and advanced. Then the senate votes (the 2nd reading is a voice vote).
So Watkins' vote "No" on SB259 pretty much got the Pollinator Plates their very own personal shout-out on the floor today.
Pretty sweet, eh?!
(You have to find the positive in everything, right?)

Tomorrow the bill will go to its 3rd reading. I am not 100% certain whether it will be grouped in with the uncontested bills and voted on as a group, or individually. But tomorrow's vote will be with the voting machine, not a voice vote.

(Friday, when the bills on their first reading came up, the bills in the uncontested calendar and regular calendar- which included ours- were all engrossed and advanced together. It was slightly anticlimatic but still a good thing and exciting. But not as interesting of a video to share!)

If it passes tomorrow, SB259 will go to the House and (I think) to their Transportation Committee, which meets Tuesdays and Thursdays. I would guess this coming Thursday they would get to it; but if not, probably next Tuesday. And after that, the house will vote.
After it goes through the house, it's on its way to Governor McAuliffe's desk! :)