Vote on Private Option not taken Tuesday - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Vote on Private Option not taken Tuesday

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After four consecutive days of not passing the Private Option last week, the House, for the first time, did not vote on the bill Tuesday. Speaker Davy Carter had said he would hold a vote every day until the bill passed. He also said there would be no more negotiations, but Carter now says he's throwing the ball back in the opponent's court. He says if they have an idea, they should run it, though he doubts they'll have the votes.

"If somebody else has got a better idea then I want to see it instead of complaining about the idea that 3/4ths of the Senate has and so far the vast majority of the House has. Just produce it. There's nothing...there's nothing...there's nothing else out there," said Carter.

There is an amendment, by Rep. Bob Ballinger that would essentially end the Private Option. That amendment has not been brought up for a vote, according to Carter it doesn't even have the 51 votes needed to amend the bill, let alone the 75 needed for the bill to pass.

"Until somebody can bring something else instead of sitting back and saying, 'No no no no.' Then they need to produce a plan that they think can get 3/4ths vote in both chambers and back through joint budget. So, that's where we are," said Carter

Carter isn't naming names, but he is pointing fingers. He says House and Senate leadership, Governor Mike Beebe, and opponents of the Private Option worked out a deal before the session began to add Rep. Nate Bell's amendments to the bill. He says now, with the exception of Bell, the opponents are now refusing to hold up their end of the agreement.

"That was all done and apparently, it appears after we cast four votes last week that those were not done in good faith," said Carter.

Carter was asked repeatedly if it is possible that they'll end the session without funding for the Department of Human Services. He says he believes a deal will be worked out in the end, but right now, it seems the house is at an impasse.