by Patti Dahlberg
It’s November — which means the first bill request deadline is coming up fast! Somehow each year time seems to slip away until this first bill request deadline rudely rears its head amidst holidays and about a million other things that need to be taken care of before session starts. Requesting bills now and working with drafters on rough drafts before session starts can only make a legislator’s life easier as the first day of session (Wednesday, January 8, 2014) creeps closer and closer!
What all legislators need to know about requesting bills [Joint Rule 24(b)(1)(A)]:
- The Joint Rules allow legislators five bill requests each session.These five bill requests are in addition to any appropriation, committee-approved, or sunset bill requests that a legislator may choose to carry.*
- In order to reach their five bill request limit, legislators must submit at least three requests to the OLLS by the first deadline in December. Legislators can submit the remaining two requests by the second request deadline in January.
- This year, the December 1 deadline stated in the rules falls on a weekend, so the first bill request deadline is Monday, December 2, 2013. The second bill request deadline is Tuesday, January 14, 2014.
- If a legislator submits only one request on or before the December deadline, he or she forfeits the other two requests that were due at that time.*
- Legislators are encouraged to submit more than three requests by the December deadline. By doing so, legislators can withdraw and replace at least one of their requests after the December deadline without losing a request. For example, if a legislator has submitted only the three-request minimum by the December deadline and later withdraws one of those requests, he or she will forfeit that bill request because the rules only allow for two of the five bill requests to be made after the December deadline. On the other hand, if a legislator has submitted four bill requests by the December deadline and later withdraws one of those requests, he or she will be left with three bill requests that meet the early request deadline plus the two requests that can be made after the early bill request deadline — for a total of five bill requests.
*A legislator can ask for permission from the House or Senate Committee on Delayed Bills to submit additional bill requests or to waive a request deadline. Permission to introduce an additional bill request or a delayed bill in the House requires the approval of at least two of these three persons: the Speaker of the House, the Majority Leader, and the Minority Leader. Permission to introduce an additional bill request or a delayed bill in the Senate requires the approval of at least two of these three persons: the President of the Senate, the Majority Leader, and the Minority Leader.