Can I ever introduce more than 5 bills?

As you’re probably aware, Joint Rule 24 (b) (1) (A) allows a member of the General Assembly to introduce only five bills during a regular session of the legislature.  However, there are many circumstances under which you may be able to introduce more than just five bills.

If you sponsor one or more interim committee bills, they will not count against the limit.  And, you can sponsor an interim committee bill even if you don’t actually serve on the interim committee.  But the bill must be approved by the Legislative Council before it can be introduced.  See Joint Rule 24 (b) (1) (D).

Bills for appropriations and bills introduced by the audit committee, the joint budget committee, the capital development committee, the legislative council, the executive committee, the committee on legal services, the legislative emergency preparedness, response, and recovery committee, or the commission on uniform state laws also do not count against the bill limit.

Also, each year certain committees of reference participate in the sunset review process.  Through this process, a committee reviews reports from the department of regulatory agencies concerning the continuation or repeal of state programs and advisory committees and the committee reviews certain statutory reporting requirements.  The committee then introduces bills to either continue or repeal the programs, advisory committees, or reporting requirements, and these bills do not count against the five-bill limit.

Finally, you may seek permission for extra bills from the Committee on Delayed Bills for the house in which you serve.  In the House of Representatives, the Committee on Delayed Bills consists of the Speaker of the House and the majority and minority leaders.  In the Senate, it’s the President of the Senate and the majority and minority leaders.  To introduce more than five bills, you will need the signature of two of the three members of your delayed-bill committee.