If it’s Friday, there must be a cut-off! They come up very quickly during a short session, and this week was no different. Today is the cut-off for policy bills to be out of the opposite committee. If they aren’t out by today, they will die. Monday, February 29th is the opposite house fiscal committee cut-off, and Friday, March 4th is the cut-off for bills to be out of the opposite house. Hard to believe.
It is important to note that at this stage of the session, amendments are often included, recognizing that the original house may not go along with them, but are needed to keep a bill moving. If a bill passes in a form different from how it passed in the original house and they subsequently don’t agree with it, they will simply not concur with the changes, ask the other house to recede, and go from there. If the opposite house does not recede, members of both houses try to resolve their differences, so that the bill will be able to pass and be delivered to the Governor (who has the final word on bills).
For example, HB 2439, the children’s mental health bill, was amended in the Senate Human Services Committee in a way that likely won’t be acceptable to the House. If the bill gets through the Senate, the two bodies will have to resolve their differences. This is also the case with the intergenerational poverty bill, HB 2518. So here’s to getting the bills through the Senate, into negotiations, and back to both houses for final passage.
On the budget front, the House released, heard, and passed their budget this week! The Senate released, heard, and passed their budget out of Ways and Means. It is unclear when they will take it up on the Senate floor, but likely soon. The two budgets are hundreds of millions apart, making it hard to imagine a quick resolution.
Have a good weekend!
Public Policy Director