"Put your martinis down and your polo sticks"
After the Democrats stopped debate on the bill by Republicans, Republican Sen. Ben Brooks had the bill read at length, which is estimated to take about four hours and last until about 9 p.m.
During the electronic reading of the bill, with most lawmakers off the floor, Brooks asked the Senate officials to check if there were enough members present for a quorum to continue to conduct business. If there are not enough members present for a quorum, the Senate would come back in at 10 a.m. the next day.
Democrats made it from their offices, had enough members present and were able to continue business. Republicans, on that quorum call and a subsequent quorum call, left the floor to try to ensure there were not enough members present to continue business. Brooks stayed on the floor during the quorum call.
"Put your martinis down and your polo sticks," Sen. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, said to the Republicans who came pouring onto the floor after those votes. They stood just outside of the chamber during the vote.
Republicans have insisted they want more time to look at the $1.5 billion budget, but most were not on the Senate floor and those on the floor were looking at other documents or were talking on their mobile phones.
Democrats are accusing Republicans of using procedure to try to delay passage of the budget. Procedurally, passing bills becomes easier once the budgets are passed. The Legislature has already passed the education budget.
-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen