The outlook for Rep. J. Paul Browns bear bill got a bit cloudy this morning when the House delayed a final vote.
Based on Wednesdays preliminary tally, the bill should pass 33-32. But one of the yes votes Speaker of the House Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch was not in the chamber this morning. (Senate President Brandon Shaffer also was MIA, leading to speculation that they are negotiating a truce on redistricting.)
This mornings delay means Brown might have to wait until late tonight or even tomorrow for a final vote on his bill. The House plans to resume work at 5 p.m., but three Republicans will be gone for a redistricting hearing that could take much of the night.
Time is of the essence at this point in the year. The Legislatures session ends next Wednesday, and if Brown has to wait an extra day for a vote, the Senate might not have time to schedule his bill. His Senate sponsor is freshman Republican Jean White, R-Hayden. White is in the minority and might not be able to call in the favors it would take to push a controversial bill through the Senate in just three days.