Tensions between the leadership of the House and the Senate bubbled up again Wednesday afternoon during a speech honoring departing Senate President Don Williams.
Sen. Ed Meyer was speaking about Williams’ “judgement and integrity” and he offered the following anecdote. “You’ll recall a few weeks ago, our Senate leader introduced a controversial bill on GMO grass seed,” Meyer said.
The bill, which would have banned grass seed produced with genetically modified organisms, cleared the Senate but suffered a lopsided defeat in the House.
“The House leader…appears to have counseled to vote against it and beat it. And kind of dissed us and dissed our Senate leader.” Meyer said.
Fast forward to Tuesday, when Meyer and other Senate Democrats were talking to Williams about what bills they would raise in the frenzied final days. The conversation centered on a property tax reform bill championed by House Speaker Brendan Sharkey.
Meyer said most members of the Senate circle believe Sharkey’s proposal is “bad policy and not the direction we should go in for our universities and hospitals.”
The discussion focused on whether Senate leaders should raise and kill Sharkey’s pet bill, just as they believe House leaders had done with Williams’ pet bill banning GMO grass.
But Williams would have none of it, Meyer said. “Our leader had the good judgement and integrity to say to us ‘that’s not the direction we’re going to go.”’
“That’s leadership,” Meyer added.
UPDATE: Sharkey’s reverse PILOT bill never passed in the Senate.