Thursday, February 25, 2010

House and Senate Leaders "In a Good Mood"

House and Senate leaders have been negotiating over the state budget today. Along with some TV reporters, I caught some of them leaving their closed-door meeting for a late lunch.

They all seemed in jolly spirits. Sen. John Arthur Smith, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee joked, "All the blood's in the other room."

But apparently no deal has been reached.

Said Smith, "We're getting along great. We agreed to a duel later on. But right now, everybody's getting along fine."

Rep. Lucky Varela, who chairs the Legislative Finance Committee, said, "We're all in a good mood. We're going to make it. Give us time, OK. Give us time."

Asked whether he expected a special session on Monday, he said, "If the governor calls us. He hasn't called us yet."

House Speaker Ben Lujan said no deal has been reached yet. But they'd meet again after lunch.