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Election results official — let the bill introductions begin

Election results official — let the bill introductions begin  Now that the election results have been officially canvassed and certified, returning legislators and their new colleagues can start introducing legislation for next year’s session.

About 1,500 bills are typically offered each year, but only roughly one-third eventually makes it to the governor’s desk and becomes law.

Also, only a tiny portion of those measures generate controversy, and they typically have a difficult time getting sufficient support to pass.

The Legislature will face two big and related issues next year: the shape of the state budget for fiscal 2014 and whether to expand the state’s Medicaid population.

The health care industry is expected to lobby hard for the lifting of an enrollment freeze that has led to the uncovering of thousands of residents who don’t have dependent children but whose income falls below 100 percent of the federal poverty level.

Industry representatives have argued that lifting the freeze is congruent with the public’s decision years ago to pay for the health coverage of low-income residents.

Meanwhile, the education community is also expected to push for more funding for K-12 schools, an idea that legislators and the governor appear to favor.

In addition, legislators are expected to propose bills that deal with election laws, the economy, immigration, the environment and unions.

The session starts in January.

Secretary of State Ken Bennett and other state officials on Dec. 3 signed the official canvass and certified last month’s election results.

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