legislative conference committees

Conferring and Waiting

Jun 6, 2016
Sue Lincoln

On this, the final day of the regular legislative session, the House and Senate each convened just before 9:30 a.m, with a deadline of 6 p.m. to complete their business.

Having gotten the budget out of the way Sunday evening, what are they doing today? For many, a whole lot of waiting.

“Members, if you could hang around for a couple of minutes. We just need to make sure we have a quorum, so please, nobody stray away,” House Speaker Taylor Barras said at one point, then the “couple of minutes” stretched into a couple of hours.

Sue Lincoln

It's the last day of the special Legislative session. “Everything that we’ve done up to now is preliminary to have the final big votes that come out of conference reports,” says Representative Sam Jones, D-Franklin.

No Budget, No Peace

Jun 11, 2015

As the final day of the session begins, there is no budget agreement.

“Members, I would move that we reject the Senate amendments and send House Bill One to conference,” House Appropriations chair Jim Fannin urged yesterday, adding, “We’ve got some work we need to do on it.”

With 93 yeas and zero nays, the House did just that. Now three representatives and three senators will endeavor to privately resolve what 144 lawmakers have been publicly arguing over for the past two months. Yet what if they can’t fix the $1.6-billion deficit before today’s clock runs out?

“At 6 p.m. on the 11th, it’s over,” Senate Secretary Glenn Koepp says. “Everything ends, and we’ve either done it, or we haven’t done it.”

Conference committees are where all the action is now, at the end of the session. But just what is a “conference committee”?

“There are bills that, you know, the House and Senate will disagree on and in many cases you can’t get it worked out,” Slidell Representative Kevin Pearson explains, “So a conference committee is selected to try and resolve that.”