It's In The Bag: 2020 Budget
With all that has occurred since the adjournment sine die of the 2020 Budget Session, it is easy to lose sight of what did and did not happen in those 24 days. First, note that the 396 numbered bills were more than ever before filed for a Budget Session which is normally 20 days. That burden on both LSO and the Legislature is even more striking when compared to the 2018 Budget Session which only had 330 bills filed. With just over ONE HALF the number of working days from the 2019 General Session, the Legislature had only 21% fewer bills to process. And small wonder the need to increase the budget for LSO when the legislators have increased the workload in a compressed timeframe.
The graphic shows the two views of the disposition on those bills. The first reflects the stark contrast in the results from Committee sponsored bills over Individual. The interim committee meetings provide considerable public input, legislator review and revisions over the course of the previous summer. In addition, the committees are focused on a limited number of topics assigned by the Management Council. The individual bills range from issues that have not passed in previous years to emergent opportunities or problems brought up by constituents or reflect social issues and ideologies of legislators.
One of the pet phrases heard in discussions is that a bill is "not ready for prime time." That is a catchall for bills that are poorly written, insufficiently reviewed, lack criticality, are not relevant to Wyoming or may need a much deeper discussion with public input. Those tend to show up as last minute bills that are numbered and dated within a week of session convening including 154 that were dated after it began. This last minute deluge of bills (63% of total) places further strain on the LSO resources and lessens the ability of legislators to review adequately. As a result, it should be no surprise that 2/3 of those late bills fail.
The Final Session Bill Tracker for 2020 is available in the File Share of this site. In addition to information and hyperlinks for each individual bill, there are tabs with summaries by Category, Status and Sponsor.