Another busy cut-off week… This time, the cut-off is for bills to get out of the fiscal committees. Last Friday, February 17th, was the cut-off for bills to get out of the original policy committees. And while many bills died, a lot did not! Some of the bills went on to one of the fiscal committees, while others went to Rules. For those that went to a fiscal committee, attention and activity became very focused on getting bills heard and exec’d, as the cut-off is today, February 24th.
Although many bills will not make it out of the relevant fiscal committees, it doesn’t necessarily mean the bill is dead. As you’ve heard before, it’s not over ‘til it’s over! Bills can be amended onto other bills, turned into a proviso (language in the budget that becomes law for the life of the budget (in this year’s case, that is two years), pulled out of the committee through various procedural moves… And, bills can come back up during a special session, assuming there is one… which has definitely been assumed this year! Typically, the sponsor of a bill and those most involved in working on the bill will decide next steps – whether to consider the bill dead or get creative and keep on trying!
The big caveat again this week with respect to the status and amendment portions of the Bill Tracker is that bills are being added (or subtracted) to the fiscal committee agendas fairly frequently, making it somewhat challenging to ensure that the absolute latest information is being included on the Tracker. While it isn’t the case for most of the bills, it’s possible that some information in the Tracker will be out of date by the time you read this!
Bills that are in Rules, and bills that make it through the fiscal committees and then go to Rules, have to be out and voted on by the full House or Senate by March 8th… which will be here before we know it!
Regarding the bills creating the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, the House and Senate bills were heard in their respective fiscal committees and are awaiting executive action. HB 1661 is scheduled for today, but as of this writing, the agenda for executive action in Ways and Means has not been published. Stay tuned!
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Have a good week!
Public Policy Director