Miller put the senators on notice they can expect to be back in
The Senate president emphasized that the expected special session this month would deal with budget issues only -- and not with the matter of casino gambling, which contributed to the turmoil of the last days of the session.
"We're focused on the budget situation right now," Miller said after the caucus.
Miller said he has asked Sen.
The Senate Democrats -- a majority of whom attended -- were joined at their closed-doors meeting by three top aides to Gov.
This year's 90-day session ended at midnight April 9 after the General Assembly passed a budget, laden with so-called Doomsday cuts that Democrats never intended to take effect. But when two companion bills failed -- one raising income taxes and another shifting some of the costs of teacher pensions to the counties -- the Doomsday provisions were enacted. They will take effect July 1 unless reversed before then.
The big snag on the final night was an impasse between the Senate and the House on an income tax increase, which wasn't broken in a conference committee until early evening. Time ran out before the agreements made that night could be ratified by each chamber.
The dispute arose over the Senate's preference for a broad-based increase, while the House insisted on limiting the impact to individuals making more than $100,000 and couples earning $150,000 or more. Many senators were unhappy with the conference committee deal, which was largely settled on terms favorable to the House.
Late last month, Miller suggested reopening the conference committee negotiations to seek a new compromise, but senators said Wednesday that they do not expect dramatic changes to the deal their negotiators signed April 9.
"My guess is that there may be some tweaks to it," he said. Rosapeper said Miller appears determined to move past the House-Senate recriminations about what went wrong at the end of the session and to get a deal done.
"I think everybody's looking for closure," said Sen.