The bill moratorium is over, but senators still filed fewer bills this year than they did last year.
This year, 443 bills were filed in the Senate before the Feb. 1 deadline. The House still has another week before representatives are cut off.
That’s down from the 469 bills that were filed in the before the Senate’s deadline last year, while Senate President Bob Burns was enforcing a ban on non-budget bills. The moratorium was lifted this year, but it was replaced by a stern warning to introduce only bills that were of the highest priority.
Apparently, the senators listened.
Normally, the bill totals in the Senate are around 500. In 2008, for instance, 505 bills were filed before the deadline.
Everyone knows, however, that the bill deadlines don’t mean much. Bills that aren’t going anywhere can be re-written as strike-through amendments, and that happens quite a bit. And the Senate president or speaker of the House can give special permission to file bills after the deadline, which happens often when budget bills are introduced.
In any case, lawmakers were more prolific in at least one category this year: They’ve filed more memorials and resolutions than normal. This year, there are 70 memorials and resolutions in the Senate. That compares to the 52 miscellaneous bills filed last year and the 51 miscellaneous bills in 2008.