A total of 82 bills were introduced Friday in the Senate and Assembly as lawmakers rushed to get their measures in before Monday’s deadline.
The close of business Monday is the deadline for introductions of bills by individual legislators and, as recently as a week ago, some were complaining the Legal Division was slow in getting their proposed legislation drafted and delivered to them.
Rick Combs, director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau, said legal has been catching up rapidly and delivering dozens of measures to those lawmakers.
A sampling of different lawmakers Friday showed most had already received their personal measures.
“I got all of mine,” said Assemblyman Tom Grady, R-Yerington. “I had to take the last one back because it did the opposite of what we wanted.”
“My bills are fine,” said Assemblyman Elliott Anderson, D-Las Vegas. Assemblywoman Lucy Flores, D-Las Vegas, said she too has received all of her measures.
Assemblyman Cresent Hardy, R-Mesquite, who a week ago said he had received just one of his measures, said he too is “in good shape.” Fellow Republican Randy Kirner of Reno said he still was waiting on three of his 11 measures, “but they’ve assured me they’re coming so I haven’t been worried.”
Sen. Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, said she thinks it helped that legal staffers were pulled out of committees for the past two weeks so they could spend more time drafting.
Combs said that happens every session, but “it’s just at what point.”
“This time it was pretty early,” he said.
The Assembly on Friday introduced 47 measures, bringing its total to 308. In addition, 14 resolutions have been introduced in the lower house.
The Senate now has 286 bills in the works along with 19 resolutions.
That is 637 out of the 1,198 measures requested thus far.
That leaves 571 bill draft requests still out there, but the vast majority of them are committee introductions or agency measures submitted by the executive branch.
Combs and Assembly Majority Leader William Horne, D-Las Vegas, said lawmakers will introduce many more in both houses Monday.
“They’ve been dropping,” he said pointing out that legal was delivering measures during Friday’s floor session. “We’re going to probably have two floor sessions Monday.”
David Byerman, Secretary of the Senate, said two years ago this deadline required three floor sessions to get everything introduced and Monday may be no different. He said Smith told the body Friday they should be ready to go until midnight if necessary.
Procedurally, if a lawmaker doesn’t get a measure or two on time, he or she can ask the appropriate committee chairman to put the measure in for them, a courtesy only rarely denied especially when there is good reason.
“They’re going to address it, if things don’t get done,” said Combs. “but I don’t think there’s going to be a problem.”
This is the first of several major deadlines. The next is the March 25 deadline for introduction of committee sponsored bills.