Lots of standing around and waiting at the Statehouse today. I just finished standing outside the Governor’s ceremonial office for about an hour, and my reward was to see the Big Three — Gov. Shumlin, House Speaker Shap Smith, and Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell come out and announce they’d reached a deal on the tax bill. And the Governor added that “There will be a health care bill.”
They wouldn’t release any details yet, but they did manage to close the remaining gap. And they all looked happy standing shoulder-to-shoulder, less than 24 hours after Shumlin’s tough talk on taxes seemed to portend a veto of his own party’s tax plan.
Well, that won’t happen. And I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. Rhetoric notwithstanding, there’s always a great deal of momentum toward deal-making at this stage. The unusual thing, really, was that the Governor’s plumage displays were aimed at fellow Democrats.
It’ll still be many hours before adjournment; the bills have to be drawn up, they have to clear the House and Senate, and there’ll need to be some suspending of the rules.
But at this point, it seems inevitable that the key bills will move and the Legislature will adjourn today.
Although the definition of “today” might get stretched a little.