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Key to the legislative process, committee deadlines loom

So far this session 1,943 bills have been introduced in the House and 1,655 in the Senate. Once introduced, the bills are referred to the various committees or divisions for possible consideration.

It would be impossible to hear all of these proposals, so it’s up to the committee chairs to decide which bills will receive a hearing. To help the legislative process along, committee deadlines act as targets to keep the process moving.

Since all of the committee deadlines fall in March this session, a flurry of committee activity can be expected in the near future.

Here are this year's deadlines:

  • March 10 at midnight, for committees to act favorably on bills in the house of origin;
  • March 17 at midnight, for committees to act favorably on bills, or companions of bills, that met the first deadline in the other house; and
  • March 31 at midnight, for committees to act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills.

Per joint House-Senate Rules, “The deadlines do not apply to the House committees on Capital Investment, Ways and Means, Finance, Taxes, or Rules and Legislative Administration, nor to the Senate committees on Capital Investment, Finance, Taxes, or Rules and Administration.”

Following committee deadlines, the bulk of the Legislature’s work shifts to the House and Senate floors. Legislators are constitutionally required to adjourn the 2017 session by May 22. 

WATCH Learn how the committee deadlines effect the legislative process

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