Traditionally, the fourth week of the legislative session is when the sense of relative calm that permeates the Legislature in the first half of the session transforms into the more frenetic energy, tension and excitement that characterizes the second half.
As we begin what will soon become a race through February, which community development bills seem to have legs under them – and which ones remain stuck in their original committees?
A Bill with Legs: County & Municipal Agreements on Tearing Down Dilapidated Buildings
We’ve provided coverage of about a dozen bills in the past two weeks. Of those, only one has moved out of its first committee: SB 28, permitting municipalities and counties to enter into agreements to tear down dilapidated buildings.
The bill was amended in the Senate Government Organization Committee to eliminate the requirement that counties and municipalities must use their own equipment and employees to tear down these structures. The amended bill now says that they may use their own equipment and employees to do the work.
It has now moved on to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it waits with 188 other bills to be taken up by the Committee.
Where are the Rest of the Bills Stuck?
The short answer is that most bills have not even been put on the agenda of their first committee, much less made it through two references and to the floor.
For example, two of the bills we’re watching in the House have to go before the Judiciary Committee as their second reference. There are already almost 300 bills pending before that committee, and 5 – 10 more get assigned to it almost every day. As the clock ticks down, the odds shrink that bills will get taken up.
Keep up to date with the progress of bills through our bill tracking spreadsheet.
Is there a bill you want to make sure gets on a committee agenda and keeps moving through the process?
What you need to do is call that committee chairperson and let them know you care about the bill, and tell them why. Those personal calls make a bigger difference than you realize.
Feel free to contact us if you want to check in on a bill and are not sure where it is in the process.