Today, the Senate voted against suspending the rules to consider the Trucker Tax Repeal resolution so the issue was dead right? Wrong!
The House Democrats proposed an amendment to the DFA-Disbursing appropriation that would push back the start of the Trucker Tax Exemption to July 2013. The amendment only needed 51 votes to be attached to the appropriation (vs the 67 needed for the resolution). It was passed via a voice vote then something very interesting happened.
Several members of the House called for a roll call vote. A couple of seconds afterwards, a member called for a vote by division. The Speaker of the House ignored the call for a roll call vote and proceeded with the vote by division.
The vote by division is simply members standing and being counted. It is a way to vote and not have it recorded.
Yes, you read that right. Democrats didn't want to go on record as to whether they voted for this amendment or not.
If you want to see if your Representative stood or not, here is a link to the video: http://arkansas-house.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=719
The actual standing vote takes place at about the 19 min mark.
What happened today set a dangerous precedent and should have been outright rejected. The voters in Arkansas wanted the legislature to focus on the budget during the fiscal session. There was a specific way outlined for other issues outside of the normal fiscal avenue to be addressed. What happened today was not the way.
The next couple of days will be interesting to watch.