March 8th was the cut-off for bills to get out of the original house… and while many bills died, a lot did not and will now be taken up by the opposite house. It is also important to remember that a number of bills have been deemed necessary to implement the budget (NTIB), which means they were not subject to the cut-off date. Additionally, bills may be amended onto other bills, and some may turn into provisos. That’s all to say, it’s not over ‘til it’s over!
One bill that we have been tracking that was identified as NTIB is HB 1661, the bill establishing the Department of Children, Youth, and Families. So when you see on the Bill Tracker that it did not come out of the House by cut-off, it does not mean that it is dead!
Once passed out of the original house, bills are generally referred to the comparable committee in the opposite house. That is not always the case, however, and there are times bills are referred to one committee, then re-referred to another! Additionally, bills that start out as a companion to a bill from the opposite house may be amended and no longer resemble the companion. Generally, when both companion bills advance beyond the original house cut-off, there is eventually a decision about which to hold and which to move forward. Such decisions consider a variety of factors and are often made once bills get into their respective Rules committees.
Committee hearings have begun and will continue until the next cut-off, March 29th. This is when bills have to be out of the opposite house policy committees. Lots to do in a short period of time!
The next revenue forecast is expected to take place on March 16th. It is also anticipated that the Senate budget will be released on March 20th and the House budget shortly thereafter. These dates could change, but as of today, that’s the word on the street!
Have a good week!
Public Policy Director