Berger: No constitutional amendments

Posted July 27, 2011 3:33 p.m. EDT

Senate Leader Phil Berger said lawmakers won’t be taking up any constitutional amendments this week, despite proposals to change session rules to allow the measures to be debated.

House and Senate leaders initially planned on a separate special session for constitutional amendments sometime this fall. But yesterday, Berger said, they started to reconsider.

“There was some discussion about, you know, we’ve got everybody here – why are we coming back in a month, when we’ve got everybody here and we kind of know that we’re talking about 2 or 3 or 4 things? Why don’t we go ahead and take care of them this week?”

Berger said leaders prepared an adjournment resolution that would have allowed constitutional amendments Thursday. But after talking to both caucuses in the Senate, Berger said they would revert to their original plan for a fall session.

“We started getting some pushback from folks,” said Berger. “You know, we didn’t come here prepared to do that this week. We’ve got some members who probably want to think about these things some more."

Berger said advocacy groups on both sides of the likely amendments said they weren’t ready this week, either, having planned for September.

“The decision basically was made, you know, maybe it’s not the right time to do it, even though it would be more convenient to go ahead and do it now.”

Berger said he’s “certain” the legislature will reconvene in September. “Right now, it should be the 12th,” he said, but the House could still change that date.