As the 45th day of the session approaches and transmittal break with its deadlines to get the general bills across to the other chamber, the work load increases dramatically. Approps began to meet in the morning and afternoon for the first time this session and the number of bills on the board in the House grows as well.
So far this session we have been averaging 14 or 15 bills on second reading. One day this week we had 41 bills. Thursday and Friday we began the floor session at 8:00 and Thursday it was after 7:00 before ending the day. Not that this is anything new since I have experienced it both of my previous sessions and knew it was going to happen.
The rule states that any bill with more than $100,000 in money must come to Approps, so we get quite busy when transmittal is coming. Several times this week we met after a session to hear the money part of bills before they could be brought back to the House floor. Again, just stating this information so you have a better idea of how the process works.
If a general bill fails to be sent to the other chamber it is usually dead. The only exception is when the other chamber agrees to change their rules to accept the bill. This is not at all common
The sub committees will begin their hearings on HB 2 Thursday. At those hearings we will detail what was done in the sub-committee concerning the budget for departments in each of five committees. My committee, section C -Natural Resources and Transportation- is scheduled to be heard on Friday morning. Amendments can be made during these hearings and probably will be for some of the subs.
When the House comes back from break we will have some heavy lifting to discuss. Among the biggest are Medicaid, infrastructure, funding for special education, pre-school funding and the budget. Other issues will surface including the call by the Governor for $100 million in new taxes to give him a $300 million ending fund balance. I doubt very much if the taxes will pass since the R side believes we can do what needs to be done without additional taxes. More government is not the answer, in my opinion. Let me know what you think. 951-6764 for calls or texts and the CONTACT US PAGE for emails. It was great being home for a few days and talking to so many of you. Thanks for the support.