Wednesday, May 09, 2007

GRT Round-up

So we just got done a little while ago with the Committee of the Whole hearing on the Governor's GRT proposal. I would say that there were few new revelations that came out of the event, but I think that it was a very efficient way in which to advise the entire House on the spectrum of opinions on the subject.

The Governor must have said 3 or 4 times that gasoline could soon be $5 per gallon. After about the third time, I googled the subject and could not find any credible support for the Governor's claim. I'm just not sure that he's helping himself with a statement like that.

One panelist brought up a very interesting argument casting doubt on the constitutionality of the proposal. I would expect that this issue will be examined closely in the next few days.

I doubt that the opinions of many legislators were changed today, but if they were, I don't think that they would now be in favor of the proposal if they previously weren't. Speaking of which, we will be voting on a resolution essentially asking Representatives if they support the concept of a GRT.

And while nothing could can come of prognosticating on these types of subjects, here goes: 12 yes, 35 present, 69 no. Not sure how right I'll be, but it should be interesting to see the vote - and even more interesting to see the reactions to it.


At May 10, 2007 at 3:49 PM, Anonymous PJS said...

So what do you make of the actual vote? Was it a mandate? Does it force Jones to the negotiating table? Did the governor's grammer school games ("I'll tell them to vote "no" so when they do I can say I won.)make a difference?

At May 10, 2007 at 8:45 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

The actual vote was no surprise. What was bizarre was the Governor's Kafkaesque press release which attempted the hyperspin that a 'no' vote would demonstrate that the House was against the resolution rather than against the GRT.

It could well be one of the most bizarre things that I've seen in my entire time in Springfield.

Even had the Governor urged legislators to vote yes, I'm not sure that the resolution would have received double digit votes.

What it may well lead to is negotiations between the Speaker and Senate President. I cannot imagine that Emil would have his members stick their neck out to vote for GRT knowing that it was DOA in the House. Therefore, he may be compelled to reach agreement on some other plan to generate revenues.

Keep in mind that there are a lot of big pieces still in play - mass transit funding, property tax relief, Com Ed/Ameren, etc. - that need to be addressed.


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