Nearly 30 percent of bills die in committee

Nearly 30 percent of the bills introduced in the 2009 Legislature died in committee Friday, victims of the deadline for committee passage of legislation in the house where it originated.

Altogether, 169 of the 535 Assembly measures and 90 of the 407 Senate measures fell by the wayside. That is 27.5 percent of the 942 bills introduced thus far.

But with the next major deadline looming, lawmakers won't be able to take very

much of a break. The deadline for bills to pass the house of origin " April 21 " is just a week away.

Because the focus was on committee action for the past two weeks, more than 80 measures built up on General File in the two houses. Senators worked their way through more than 40 votes on bills and resolutions, finally finishing a nearly two-hour session just after 1:30 p.m.

The Assembly pounded its way through nearly 40 bills and resolutions as well, finishing the job just after 2 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, advised committee chairmen amendments for 97 pieces of legislation have been delivered. He urged them to get those amendments to the floor for action.

To clear the way for extended floor sessions this week, the Senate chairmen of Taxation, Commerce and Labor and Government Affairs all announced they have canceled afternoon meetings of those committees this week.

In the Assembly, Majority Leader John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, said committee chairmen received 71 amendments Monday.

"If we get those 71 amendments done tomorrow, we'll be ahead of the game," he

told the body.

He said the Assembly processed nearly 40 measures Monday, "which is about how many we need to go through every day."

Oceguera said members can expect another 100 amendments by the end of business Monday and 100 more during the week.

After the April 21 deadline, both houses will focus on processing the legislation they received from the other house.

In addition to that, there are 61 Assembly bills, 41 Senate bills and three resolutions that are exempt from the deadlines. Nearly all of those are exempted because they have financial impact on the budget, which isn't finalized until the final days of the session.

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