As warming temperatures bring out the cherry blossoms, things are heating up in the Capitol as well. The Legislature faces a key deadline today to move bills. (Photo by Dronescape Consulting, March 26)
Today marks a major hurdle for bills in the Legislature.
For a bill to remain “alive,” it must be scheduled for a work session in a policy committee by today, April 7.
This first chamber deadline applies to policy committees, including House and Senate education. The deadline does not apply to Ways and Means or any of its subcommittees and House and Senate rules and revenue committees. Bills remaining in a policy committee that are not scheduled for a work session by today cannot receive further action and are considered "dead." If a committee hasn’t decided if the bill should move forward, often it is sent to another committee where the rule does not apply, keeping the issue alive.
For legislative advocates, the first deadline narrows the massive number of bills that could be enacted to roughly three-quarters. Approximately 4,000 bills have been drafted this session, and OSBA has been following about 500 of them. This deadline should narrow the list of education-related bills to about 400.
The next major deadline is April 18, when bills must be moved out of the committees in the chamber in which they were introduced.