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Senate Budget Debate Becomes Partisan

April 22, 2003
By: Missy Shelton
State Capital Bureau

When the senate took up the state budget today (Tuesday), debate became partisan.

Missy Shelton reports.

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Democratic senators stalled the budget with amendments and extended debate...John Russell, the chairman of the senate appropriations committee listened to criticism from democratic floor leader Ken Jacob.

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Boxed in Jacob says because Republican leaders in the senate are blocking bills that would generate new revenue.

But Republican leaders urged Jacob to let the budget pass quickly so there would be time to debate revenue generating legislation...The deadline for lawmakers to pass the budget is May 9th.

During debate on the budget, Republican leader Peter Kinder pulled out a sticker bearing the initials OTB and placed it on the lapel of his jacket...

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O-T-B is a phrase critics of democratic govenror Bob Holden have used to mean One Term Bob.

Kinder's comments about a different kind of O-T-B, on time budget came after Governor Holden threatened on Monday to veto the senate budget proposal.

Democrat Ken Jacob called on lawmakers to avoid a special session by taking up revenue generating proposals before debating the budget...Republican John Russell considered a poker analogy Jacob used to describe the republican approach to the budget.

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The Republican budget proposal presents two scenarios: one reflects deep cuts and no new revenue...the other shows which programs would benefit if lawmakers come up with additional dollars.

Russell tried to assure Jacob revenue bills are forthcoming.

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The senate is expected to finish its work on the budget by the end of this week.

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