Today's deadline expected to kill off numerous bills

A large number of the bills introduced in the 2011 Legislature are expected to die by the close of business today as one of the biggest deadlines of the session hits.

April 15 is the deadline for measures that haven't been given an exemption to pass out of committee in the house where they were introduced.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, the legislative website listed a total of 899 bills and resolutions still in the committee of origin.

Of those, 87 were in Senate Finance and 60 in the Assembly Ways and Means committees. The vast majority of them are exempt from the deadline because they deal with the budget.

Another 35 Senate bills and 116 Assembly measures are listed as "eligible for exemption." But they don't actually become exempt unless they are actually moved to Finance or Ways and Means. Many of them are expected to die in the policy committee where they are now.

The vast majority of the other bills in committee are not exempt and must be passed out of the committee to survive.

There have been 565 measures introduced in the Assembly along with more than a dozen resolutions. The Senate has 495 new bills this session along with a handful of resolutions.

Altogether, there are 1,060 bills under consideration.

Lawmakers are expected to work late into the evening as they, lobbyists and others try to win support for the bills they want to survive - a process managed by leadership and the committee chairs in both houses. The horse-trading for support has been growing exponentially as the deadline drew near.

Today's committee deadline is followed by the next major deadline - passage by the house of origin on or before April 26 - just 11 days down the road. That line in the sand also kills off a significant number of proposals each session.

After that point, lawmakers, lobbyists and agencies will all pretty much know what issues they are dealing with for the remainder of the 2011 Legislature. In order to introduce new measures after that, the permission of the leadership is required unless the measure is one of those necessary to complete the session.

That includes the short list of bills such as the Appropriations Act that are necessary to implement the budget. Of those, the measure funding K-12 education must be passed by both houses first under the Education First Amendment to the Nevada Constitution.

The deadline, however, doesn't mean the proposals in all those measures not passed out of committee are really dead. Lawmakers, lobbyists and activists will next week begin scurrying around looking for an appropriate survivor to amend their pet proposal into.


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