Action picked up a bit last week, as committees began passing out legislation for consideration by the full House. We saw our first controversial bill of the 2017 session in the form of campaign finance reform.
Last Thursday morning, the House adjourned the 2016 session Sine Die. The term “Sine Die” is a Latin term that literally means “without day,” meaning the Legislature adjourned on Thursday without assigning a future day for reconvening.
This week, House and Senate negotiators worked around the clock to iron out agreements on policy bills and the state’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget. These negotiators worked in groups called conference committees.
The week began much of the same way it ended the previous week. House Democrats requested that every bill be read. However, the House worked long hours on Monday and Tuesday and actually finished its slate of Senate general bills a day early.
This week, the House met its second committee deadline. If a Senate general bill was not passed by House committee by Tuesday at 8 p.m., then the bill is now dead. That deadline also applied to many of our House bills that awaited Senate committee action.
This week, the Legislature moved from policy matters to the state’s budget. Budget bills are divided into two categories — revenue bills and appropriations bills. Appropriations bills start in the Appropriations Committee and deal with how much money the state spends.