A parliamentary move to divide the question during budget debate divided the Unicameral.
Sen. Bill Kintner of Papillion moved divide the question Tuesday, which at a basic level would break the budget up in chunks for separate votes.
Speaker of the Legislature, Sen. Greg Adams of York, over-ruled Kintner.
That brought a second motion from Sen. Scott Lautnebaugh of Omaha, who challenged the ruling of the chair.
Then, the debate got personal.
Sen. Danielle Conrad of Lincoln criticized Kintner, claiming he had done little, if anything, to cut spending, yet was critical of the Appropriations Committee.
“Friends, this is nothing more than a Sen. Ted Cruz-style attempt to foment dysfunction in our body and to bring Washington-style politics to the hallow halls of the Nebraska legislature,” Conrad stated during floor debate over the motion.
Kintner was the only member of the Appropriations Committee not to vote for the budget. Conrad accused Kintner of violating tradition by not backing the budget once it hit the legislative floor for debate.
As for the Ted Cruz comment, Kintner replied that he considered it a compliment to be compared to the fiery conservative United States Senator from Texas.
Sen. John Murante of Gretna saw a double standard in the criticism that Kintner was bringing the politics of Washington to Lincoln.
“But we shouldn’t assault or criticize Washington-style politics and use Washington-style rhetoric to do it,” Murante told the body.
The harsh debate came during consideration of revisions to the $8 billion state budget. The Unicameral approved the two-year budget last year, but is considering revisions this year.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]
AUDIO: Legislative debate on Sen. Kintner’s motion to divide the question. [1 hour]