A few updates on this turd of a bill since last night.
Not surprisingly, Tom Wolf officially opposes new Executive branch agency regulations disappearing into the legislative purgatory of Republican-controlled committees before going to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission.
Wolf needs 68 House Democrats to hang together to win a veto override vote, and early signs are encouraging there.
The House version only passed out of the House committee on a party line vote, and House Dems held together yesterday on an amendment vote that failed.
Ben Waxman, press secretary for Senator Vince Hughes, says the House version has enough substantive differences with the Senate version that the bill will need to go back to the Senate if, as is expected, it wins a full vote in the House later today.
When asked how a bill putting Democratic priorities at such a clear disadvantage could possibly have attracted unanimous support from Senate Democrats last spring, Waxman said it wasn’t an oversight. He said the bill did in fact go through the Senate Democrats’ committee review process, there was a discussion in caucus about the bill, and the caucus decided to support it.
“The interpretation we have of this bill is that it’s an institutional question, not a political question,” he said.
Waxman went on to defend the bill on the merits as a non-partisan, small-d democratic change, and declined to speak to the obvious consequences for Democratic policy priorities. Republicans run all the committees, and will continue to do so until Pennsylvania becomes less gerrymandered in some magical future scenario, so progressive regulations would face an impossible uphill climb.
Senator Hughes subsequently retweeted our tweets about this, so maybe he’s had a change of heart.