Today marked the second major deadline of the legislative session, the appropriately named Second Chamber Deadline. The deadline operates much like the previous Chamber of Origin Deadline (on April 21), and means a bill is effectively dead if it has not advanced from the committee it was referred to in the second chamber. The same committees that were exempt from the Chamber of Origin Deadline are also exempt from the Second Chamber Deadline—Rules, Revenue, and Ways & Means. The Second Chamber Deadline is perhaps more rigid than the first, for the simple fact that policy committees completely close immediately following the Second Chamber Deadline, and can no longer take action on any House or Senate bill for the remainder of session.
This deadline marks a shift in the focus of legislative leaders towards finalizing a balanced budget, and an end to session negotiations, including dedicated funding for universities, community colleges, transportation and other specific state capital infrastructure.
By the numbers:
- Bills Introduced: 2,627
- Bills Dead: 1,282 (49%)
- Bills Alive: 1,345 (51%)
It is strange for roughly half the bills to still be alive at this point in the process, with only approximately one month remaining until session is supposed to adjourn sine die. It may be an indication that session may not close down in as orderly a fashion as leadership has stated is their intention.