“The governor has staked out a position. He has said, ‘I want my diversionary issues, I want my non-budget issues and then, and then, I’ll talk about new money for a budget.’ That’s the governor’s position.
“We in the House have attempted to meet the governor half way.
“The governor has talked about workers’ compensation. The House has passed a bill that would do changes in workers’ compensation. That bill is in the Senate. That bill could be amended. There could be more changes done to the workers’ compensation system. I acknowledge that, people on our side of the aisle acknowledge that.
“But… But… We are not going to use the government to force people, injured workers, to welfare or to the emergency room. Let me repeat that. We are not going to use the government to force people, injured workers, to welfare or to the emergency room.
“The governor requested a change in the method of operation in the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity… The House, at the request of the governor, passed that bill.
The governor has talked in terms about the absolute necessity to freeze property taxes. There have been eleven opportunities in the House of Representatives to pass a bill that would freeze property taxes. You (pointing at the Republicans) have declined to participate in the passage of the bill.
“And today, again, at the governor’s request, in an effort to meet the governor half way as we have in the three prior instances, we’re going to call this bill. This bill is going to pass. At the request of the governor, we’re going to repeal, we’re going to suspend, the COLA adjustment for the salary for people in the Legislature for the current budget year.
“So, in four separate instances we’ve made a good faith effort to meet the governor half way.
“We ask the governor, ‘How do you respond?’ His response: ‘I have to have my agenda. As is. No change. If I get it, I’ll talk.’
“The best promise you get is, ‘I’ll talk.’
“So, we are at an impasse. We are involved in an historic struggle.
“And I repeat again, this bill is just another effort to meet the governor half way.”