Monday night November 24, 2008
It’s almost 9 o’clock and the average lawmaker has been here for 11 hours. Finally, at 6:30 the House and Senate began debate on the two bills that will help the state address the $300-million hole in the current budget.
Speaker of the House Jim Amann, D-Milford, was sitting back in the chair atop the House podium, as House Minority Leader Larry Cafero, the best orator in the chamber, painted a grim picture of multi-billion-dollar deficits in next year’s budget.
Amann was grinning as he scribbled large letters on a legal pad, before lifting it to show the right side of the House, where the heart of the Democratic caucus sat. “10 in 2010″ the note to the caucus said. That was Amann’s prediction that the current 44-member GOP caucus, cut to 37 in the recent election, would be reduced to in the next General Assembly election.
Speaking of 37, the Blogster notes that the way the House seating areas are divided, there are exactly 36 seats on the far left side of the chamber where Republicans currently have most of their membership. So in the session that starts January 7, one Republican will have to sit across the aisle in Democratic territory.
Who shall it be? The Blogster says veteran Rep. T.R. Rowe, R-Trumbull, should go across the aisle to win new friends and influence people.