Posted by Jeremy Shulkin
We’re in the chamber. The protest/counter-protest outside was pretty charged. A lot of yelling at each other, some pushing, a lot of out of town folk. I’ll devote a post to it later tonight.
The chamber is pretty full (not quite as full as the livery/taxi debates), I’d say evenly split between those in favor the council divesting and those opposed. Sens. Mike Moore and Harriette Chandler will be here, it sounds like they’re waiting for them to show up before they start.
That was probably the most patriotic reading of the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of the Star Spangled Banner I’ve ever heard in here. Everyone–pols and folks in the gallery–sounded like they were trying to one-up each other.
7:16: Sens. Moore and Chandler are here to discuss the budget before we talk about Arizona. Moore starts off. He says MA has maintained its double A bond rating. He says we’re looking at a huge deficits, and there’s no stimulus money available in 2012. Stabilization money is going to be used to plug gaps in local aid, but that account has been drained about $1.5 billion over the last couple years.
7:19: Chandler says there will be a vote this week on an aid package to help with local aid relief.
7:27: On to Arizona. J.O’Brien reads the resolution, asks the audience members to be respectful. Rushton makes a motion to file his original resolution. He then introduces a letter to vote on (semantically different than the resolution, but calling for a council-wide condemnation of the law, and then an exploration into boycotting the state). The letter says “our city has a rich history of standing for freedom and human rights.” “We long been a city of immigrants who came from all parts of the globe to build a better life.” He says the council has talked about national and international politics before, “we have a strong history of speaking out when wrongs need to be righted.”
7:32: Clancy interrupts Rushton, saying he wants a ruling from the chair about whether or not this is germane to the city council. J.O’Brien says it is. People applaud. Clancy wants a vote on the challenge. J.O’Brien walks the audience through what the vote will be on. He asks the clerk to explain: Yes = support Clancy’s challenge and kills debate, no = support letting the debate continue.
Roll: Germain No, Rushton No, Smith No, O’Brien No. All others Yes. Debate ends, rulling it is “not germane to this city council.” Lots of unintelligable yells from the gallery.
Council goes into recess as people stream out.
7:47: They vote on Madnick’s same petition–same vote breakdown.
7:50: Eddy asks for the cost of demolishing the seven unused pools and re-seeding the pools to make park land. M.O’Brien says he’ll get a number next week.
8:04: Lukes is formally asking for a list of all employees and their salaries and benefits on the school side (apparently there was some confusion about what she wanted last week).