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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

 2:33 PM 

Dems now trying to pull oral chemo bill to the floor

Almost immediately after that vote on Walker's tax plan was passed, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca tried to take up the oral chemotherapy bill now that the Senate has passed the bill.

Barca has moved to suspend the rules to take up the bill.

"My point is this, we are messing with people's lives and I think that's why Sen. Fitzgerald finally relented," Barca said.

UPDATE: Assembly Majority Leader Pat Strachota came back onto the floor saying she's trying to work with her caucus to get a vote on the bill.

"I don't think anybody has had as much of a passion for this bill as I have," Strachota said. "It has come over now from the Senate on this bill, I am looking at the whole ... what are the ramifications, what are the opportunities for us. I will do whatever I can to make sure we get an opportunity to vote on it."

Barca then asked Strachota if they could take a brief break to discuss the matter in caucus for a half-hour, but signaled that he wants an assurance it will be taken up on Thursday.

"I would be shocked if there are more than five people in this body who would vote against this," Barca said.

Strachota seemed to raise the possibility of asking leadership if they could break to discuss this in a brief caucus, but Vos and other aides were waiting off to the side, repeatedly saying "no, no."

"I have always worked in good faith with you, Peter, and I would ask you to allow us to have that debate in our caucus on Thursday," Strachota said.

UPDATE 2: Dems are now debating the motion to suspend the rules and take up the oral chemo bill. Rep. Jon Richards, D-Milwaukee, said given all the last minute shuffling and dealing that happens on the last day of session, it would be problematic to bring it up on Thursday.

"The time for all the cloak and dagger and behind the curtains malarkey is over," Richards said. "We should take up the bill today and pass it."

Strachota is once again off the floor as debate happens.


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