Senators Approve Hoghoused Changes Despite Concerns of Constitutionality
As the legislative session comes to an end Friday, members of both chambers are deciding whether to accept changes to their legislation. The Senate considered amendments the House made on Senate bills Wednesday morning.
One of those recommended to accept changes was Senate Bill 53. It was hoghoused in the House to provide funding for various projects such as the Lewis and Clark water system and shale research at the School of Mines. Opponents to the bill say it’s unconstitutional to address more than one topic in a bill. Senator Tom Jones says more than one topic makes voting difficult.
“Where I have an issue is if I’m for these four items that are in here, I’m going to vote yes. If I’m not for these four items, I’m going to vote no. But where I have a problem was what happens if I’m for three of these programs, but not for one of them? Or if I’m split two and two? Or if I’m split one and three? I’ve got a problem with how to vote on this,” Jones says.
Supporters spoke to the merits of each of the bill’s components and say it’s constitutional because each provides economic benefits to the state, which is the title of the bill. Senate Bill 53 narrowly received its 2/3 majority vote to pass, and now heads to the Governor for final approval.