“It was a shock,” said Ingram. “There’re mixed emotions. You have bills that you’ve worked on for months and months and months that have been courted, things that you would like to see instituted. Those are just dead…It’s bitter sweet, it’s a shock I’m still trying to process it, too.”
He said the differences with Senate over Medicaid expansion and Low Income Pool had caused the impasse.
“The House position had been what it is for months, years since previous sessions,” he said. “We had made budget offers to the Senate. We were the first to formally make them an offer and say here’s a formal offer please take it or submit the counter. They were a few counters back and forth but neither one were any closer to any real agreement.”
Ingram said that when the Speaker felt he was getting no compromise or movement from the Florida Senate, he made the decision to call it a day.
I asked him about the status of all the bills that were still being debated.
“Since it was an actually Sine Die adjournment, it wasn’t an extension of session,” said Ingram. “Bills that had not been heard on the floor year are just dead.Bills that had been amended in one chamber and were on their way back to the other or any bills were coming back from the House to the Senate–those are dead.”
He said that the Senate has several House bills that it hasn’t not taken up yet. “They could potentially stay for a few days and finish bills that the House had voted on. But, if those bills are amended that obviously kills the bill…There is a certain finality to it now, there’s no back and forth play.”
Ingram said he expected a special session to be called for the budget by early June, but other than that, he isn’t sure what’s ahead.
“This is totally uncharted territory for me certainly and probably (for) most people in the political process that haven’t been doing this for 20 years,” he said. “…I wish I can give you a little more insight, truly but we’ll just see how it plays out. Coming back, we’ll have to get a budget done, we don’t have a choice.”
Ingram, forever the optimist, added, “I look forward to getting to work on that, that’s what I’ve been preparing to do for a year. I would love to dig in and get that done.”