All 2007 bills introduced as second deadline hits lawmakers

Lawmakers hit their second key deadline Monday: The last day on which committees could introduce legislation.

The first, the deadline for introductions by individual lawmakers, was March 19 when more than 200 bills were introduced.

By adjournment Monday, 78 bills had been introduced in the Assembly and 115 in the Senate.

That means except for bills specifically authorized by leadership and exempt bills needed to do such things as implement the budget, all bills which will be considered by the 2007 Legislature are on their way through the process.

The list of bills introduced includes most of the supplemental appropriations needed by state agencies to finish out this fiscal year in the black. It also includes a number of funding requests from the counties, cities and nongovernmental groups seeking help with different projects and programs. Some of those are already in the proposed executive budget. Many are not and, in a tight budget year, face huge hurdles winning final passage.

A large percentage of the bills which will fail to become law this session will do so at the next major deadline - the deadline for committee passage in the house of origin. Bills which don't get a favorable committee vote in the house where they were introduced by April 13 are dead.

Another batch of bills will die April 24 - the deadline for passage by the house of origin.

Then the entire committee review, approval and floor vote process will be repeated for legislation still alive in the second house.

Only a few pieces of legislation are exempt from the deadline without specific permission from leadership. Typically, they are bills which have a financial impact on the state budget. Those bills are typically held until about 10 days before the end of the session while lawmakers and staff work to balance spending and revenues.

Thus far this session, there have been 606 bills introduced in the Assembly and 554 in the Senate.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.

Future deadlines

April 3 - money committees begin closing budgets

April 13 - committee action in the house of origin

April 24 - passage by the house of origin

May 4 - money committees begin resolving budget differences

May 18 - committee passage by the second house

May 25 - passage by the second house


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