What happens if I make the same bill request as another legislator?

When the OLLS determines that your bill request appears to be identical or substantially similar to a request made by another legislator, the Office will contact you and let you know that it appears a similar bill request has already been submitted. The drafter can tell you whether the first request was made by someone in the same house or the opposite house of the legislature or by someone in the same party. Because of confidentiality concerns, however, the drafter cannot tell you the name of the legislator who made the first request, unless that request has already been introduced as a bill. The drafter will then ask your permission to tell the legislator who submitted the first request that you are requesting an identical or substantially similar bill.

At this point, you may choose to withdraw your bill request. Or, you may tell the drafter that you want to proceed with your bill request, and you do not authorize the drafter to tell the first legislator that you are requesting the same or a similar bill. In this case, the drafter will proceed to draft your bill without divulging any further information. However, if you give the drafter permission to talk with the first legislator, he or she will contact that person. With that person’s permission, the drafter will tell you who the first legislator is, and you and the other legislator may discuss how you wish to proceed.

At this point, you may decide to join efforts as prime sponsors in each house or as prime co-sponsors in the same house. Or you may decide that one of you should be the prime sponsor and the other a cosponsor. You may also decide to go forward with drafting and introducing both bills and let the legislative process determine the outcome. In no event, however, are you required to withdraw your bill request just because another legislator has already submitted the same or a similar request.