Sine Die is just days, possibly hours away…amazing! While we don’t know what the Governor will do in terms of calling the legislature back into (special) session, we do know that the regular session ends on April 23rd. And, it is possible that the legislature won’t work over the weekend, making Friday (today) the last day! The Governor will likely hold a press conference to discuss the work that went on during the session and what the plan is for the special session. As we’ve said previously, stay tuned!
Because of all of the uncertainty about the timing of the special session, what is likely to be brought up, etc., we will do a more thorough update next week. Remember, bills that did not pass in the opposite house will revert to the Rules committee of the original house. They will need to be brought to the floor for a vote in the original house, then referred to a committee in the opposite house. Generally, there is some semblance of agreement between the House and Senate with respect to what will be brought up during the special session, but at this point, that remains to be seen. Most of the focus, however, will (likely) be on the budget and bills that were referenced in the Senate and/or House budget.
This week has primarily been spent running the concurrence calendar. That’s where the original house concurs or not with the changes made to a bill by the opposite house. If a bill is not concurred on by the original house, they will ask the opposite house to recede from their amendments. If the opposite house does that, great! If not, the bill is in dispute and there is the hope that members from both chambers/parties will try to work out their differences. If agreement can’t be reached, the bill will die.
This has been a looooong session, and we are grateful for all of you who have kept up with legislation related to children and families. We have a ways to go, but getting bills like the children’s mental health bill passed in both chambers is fabulous! By the way, the Governor has 20 days to take action on a bill once it is delivered to him. If a bill was delivered to him on or prior to April 17th, he has five days to take action. If a bill was delivered after the 17th, he has 20 days. Most bills will be coming his way soon and are ‘20-day’ bills.
It is unlikely we will be doing weekly updates during the special session. As mentioned, there will be one next week, but beyond that, we will wait until there is news about the budget and bills necessary to implement the budget. If you have questions, concerns, news to share about the budget negotiations (!), etc., please let us know. Please note, our budget comparison is now up on our website. This comparison includes a number of items related to children, youth, and families in the budgets, but it is not all-inclusive. (If you see major omissions or errors, please let us know. We will do our best to make any necessary changes.)
Thank you again for your support on so many bills related to children and families.
Have a good weekend!
Public Policy Director