The 2018 legislative session begins today, Feb. 5, and constitutionally must be completed by March 11. Legislators will be working on a variety of complex issues from the drop of the opening gavel. With only 35 days to be in session, the Legislature will move at breakneck speed.
"Cap and Invest," a pair of bills designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, will take center stage, but education will also grab lots of attention. The Joint Committee on Student Success will debut with a hearing Friday, Feb. 9. Education advocates are expected to appear before the committee.
Deadlines set by the leadership of the two legislative houses demand the session move quickly. Committees must complete their work on bills originally assigned to their committees by Feb. 15 or the bill is assumed to be dead for this session.
The second chamber deadline is Feb. 27. This is the last day for policy committees to move measures that originated in the opposite chamber.
Some committees are not bound by these rules: Ways and Means and House and Senate rules and revenue committees. Bills in these committees can be considered up to adjournment.
Leadership limited the number of bills members and committees could introduce, so the number of bills affecting public education is also small. Although education funding is always one of the key areas of the longer regular session, it appears the new Joint Committee on Student Success will be discussing education outcomes and funding as members plan their work for the upcoming year.
The Office of Economic Analysis is scheduled to release its quarterly revenue projections Feb. 16 for the March 2018 forecast, before a joint session of the House and Senate finance and revenue committees.
The February session is beginning later this year, which pushes the 35-day deadline beyond the March 6 filing deadline for legislative candidates. It is expected that the Legislature will try to complete the session before the filing deadline.
As topics emerge, feel free to contact the OSBA Legislative Services staff to receive an update on any of the various issues. Call 1-800-578-6722 or email Lori Sattenspiel (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Richard Donovan (email@example.com).