The Speaker of The House tried to ram through a bill containing a smorgasbord of odds-and-ends spending desired by the governor and various special interests. It got shot down once in the GOP caucus. It got shot down on the House floor Friday in a late-in-the-day revolt.
Speaker Tillis and his allies took the hardball route this week. They loaded up the legislation with even more pork, and threatened non-compliant conservatives with a potential ouster from the GOP caucus. Once that shenanigan went public, things continued to go south for the speaker. He took some tough questions during a Monday caucus meeting, but said the hardball disloyalty effort was not needed — he already had his votes. (Or so he thought.)
Once again, the man from Huntersville got surprised on the House floor. HB 1224 went down in a blaze of glory, by a margin of 47-54. The vote sends a rather loud, clear and unpleasant message to Tillis and Gov. McCrory — who both staked a lot of political capital to the passage of the legislation.
Sources on the House floor tell me this development also kills off HB 189 — which would have brought film incentives and all kinds of other high-dollar goodies into play..
The only real piece of excitement left — I’m told — is a decision on the big coal ash cleanup. The House plan doesn’t really hold Duke Power to a timetable, while the Senate version does. It will be interesting to see which version comes out on top. Given Tillis’s recent spate of luck, it’s probably not hard to figure out.