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Heavy Load for Legislature

The halfway mark for the 2019 Legislative General Session will be passed on Friday, 1 February 2019. In consideration for the completion of the Capitol Reconstruction completion this year, the session, which is normally 40 days, has been shortened to 35 days to allow for a second session celebrating the return to the historic seat of the body.

The compressed schedule puts an additional load on the committees and chambers to provide appropriate consideration of proposed bills. Yesterday, 29 January, was the final day for submission of bills for introduction in the House. The deadline for the Senate occurred last week. There are 499 bills submitted this year; in contrast, the total for the General Session in 2017 was 485.

The Supplemental budget is processed through the separate chambers on mirrored bills. These were passed out of the Joint Appropriations Committee and introduced on the floors on Monday, 28 January where these were passed by the Committees of the Whole. On Tuesday, Second Reading of the Budge bills were held with 51 Amendments in the Senate and 39 Amendments in the House. Joint rules have been applied to delay the Third Reading for one day to Friday. In the meantime, the Committees have until end of day on Friday to complete consideration of the 183 bills assigned and potentially the 43 bills introduced but not yet assigned to a committee.

On Wednesday, 6 February 2019, any bill not passed out of the originating chamber on Third Reading will be "postponed indefinitely" which translates to died in process. The reality of these deadlines and volumes has resulted in committee meetings convening at 7:00 am prior to gavel in on the floors, additional noon recess meetings, late start after adjournment and meetings extended to midnight.

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