Senate Construction Reform Effort on Life Support
The Senate inspired effort to include Construction Reform in the Budget Bill, HB 318, is on life support and not expected to survive. House and Senate Democrats, the Black Caucus and even the Governor have now said Construction Reform must be vetted by the normal legislative process. They said they won’t even discuss it further which prompted the Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee to cancel its meetings for the rest of the week.
Senate Democratic Leader Capri Cafaro sent a letter to Senate President Bill Harris in support of the House-passed version of HB318, which would delay the final year of the state income tax cut. She also charged the Senate with proposing a number of provisions to the bill “after having been fully apprised that such changes would compromise our support.”
“While we are willing to work with you to resolve issues raised by your caucus, the complexity and abundance of issues now tied to HB318 cannot be resolved within the context of this bill,” Cafaro wrote.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Armond Budish (D-Beachwood) continued to say he does not support anything beyond what the House passed and pushed for a “clean bill” from the Senate. He says he’s prepared to have his chamber meet until Dec. 31, because that is the last day the General Assembly can delay the final tax cut.
Budish said his caucus is working on Construction Reform legislation and plans to pass it before the end of the session– a year from now. He called it a complex bill adding, “We won’t throw a bill together on an ad hoc basis in the dead of night out of public view without those who have a stake having a chance to speak out, and without thought.”
Translated this means the House’s version of Construction Reform likely won’t mirror the current Senate version… and a compromise bill won’t appear in the very near future.