In an unusual move, the Democratic-controlled state House of Representatives strongly rejected a controversial that had been passed the previous day by the Democratic-controlled Senate.
It is rare that the House ever calls a bill and votes it down on the House floor. Instead, the normal way is that the bill is not called at all – to avoid any embarrassment of a bill going down in flames.
That did not happen Thursday as a bill to ban the sale of genetically modified lawn seed was rejected by 103 to 37 on a bipartisan basis.
House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey said it was the first time that he had called a bill as the speaker, voted against it, and watched it voted down on the House floor. He also never spoke once to the bill’s chief proponent, Senate President Pro Tem Donald Williams.
“I’ve never, ever been consulted about this bill by anyone in the Senate,’’ Sharkey told reporters after the vote. “The advocates wanted a vote on the bill, so I felt it was most important to have the vote and avoid the distraction that was going to inevitably occur if we kept it on our calendar for days or weeks. … Rather than prolong that, we felt it was important to just go ahead and have the vote, get it done, and move on to the important things we have to do this session.’’
When asked if he was concerned that any of his bills will get bottled up now in the Senate, Sharkey said, “I’m not worried about that at all – just as I believe the Senate is not worried about their bills getting through the House. We work cooperatively together.’’ Continue reading