Senate Majority Leader Todd Lamb is advising members to clear their calendars and be available to meet on Fridays.
Lamb, R-Oklahoma City, announced to members today that the Senate could meet this Friday and May 21. It all depends on the budget crafters, Lamb says. If a budget agreement is reached this week, the Senate could hear budget bills on Friday.
If not this Friday than next, Lamb says.
“It all depends on how budget negotiations go,” he said this afternoon.
During normal legislative weeks, members return to their districts to meet with constituents and community groups on Fridays. Lamb says he wanted to give lawmaker fair warning to keep their Fridays clear.
Lamb says the Senate hopes to finish early this year. The state Constitution says the legislative session must end by the last Friday in May.
But before lawmakers can go home, they’ve got to come up with a budget for the next fiscal year which begins July 1. With deep agency cuts forecast, agency heads and service providers are on pins and needles waiting to see what kind of hit they’ll take.
As for word on the budget agreement…rumors abound. There have been meetings late into the night and lots of caucus meetings.
Sadly, it is par for the course this time of year. Yup, none of that really tells anybody the status of budget agreement. It just means everybody is trying to keep their party informed. And since tornado damage has demanded Gov. Brad Henry’s attention for a few days there might be a pause in negotiations.
It’s all confidential…and subject to anybody’s guess as to how it will turn out. But just like in sports, it sure is fun to speculate.