Tuesday Wrap: A House (GOP) divided

Posted March 3, 2015

— The Republican caucus in the House reversed itself Tuesday on an amendment tacked on to a bill dealing with budgetary fixes, dealing a major blow to House Majority Leader Mike Hager.

The House overwhelmingly voted for the amendment, which would have changed air quality rules near gas drilling sites, on Monday night, but many lawmakers said they didn't understand it and asked for another vote. Hager called the amendment purely technical, but some in the GOP caucus said they want to be more transparent and not ram items through with little debate.

Two House committees also dealt with gas Tuesday, but it was the kind pumped into cars. They both passed legislation that would change how the state calculates the gas tax, but they eliminated a provision already approved by the Senate that would have laid off 500 Department of Transportation employees while also adjusting the Senate's plan to set a floor under the tax.

The same committees also approved legislation revamping the state's business-recruitment incentives and renewing tax breaks for airlines on jet fuel and data centers on electricity.


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