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"I'll be honest, the margins on the vote are tight," he said. "I believe I've got the votes at this point. It's still a few hours until I run the bill."
UPDATE: Westerman is indeed presenting the bill.
"On the railroad tracks of life, if you don't keep moving, you're going to get run over," Westerman says. "We have a good budget system in Arkansas, but we can make it better."
The Revenue Stabilization Act, which requires Arkansas maintain a balanced budget, is a good thing, Westerman says, "but we can make it better." His main beef seems to be that, while the budget is too complicated for both chambers to hash out, the governor shouldn't be leading the budgetting process.
Rep. John Edwards speaks against the bill.
"This is a bill that if we didn’t have the RSA, I would be voting for. But we do have the RSA. We do have in our hands the ability to manage our state budget."
The bill fails. 49 yays, 47 nays with one vote present.
A clincher motion failed, which means it can come back up for vote.
UPDATE: Straight party-line vote. Republican Mary Slinkard wasn't there and Republican Karen Hopper voted present. So if they can turn Hopper into a yes and get everyone to show up, it will pass.
We should also note that House Speaker Davy Carter voted for it.
Are you privy to the committee's findings, Steven? Please keep us informed.
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