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Description of Rules for Implementing 120-Day Session

 

1. All interim bill draft requests are due by December 15, 1998.

The committee approved a requirement that all measures authorized to be requested by individual legislators in the interim (20 for Senators and 10 for Assembly members) must be submitted, with full details and ready to be drafted, by December 15, 1998. This deadline also applies to measures authorized to be requested by statutory committees and chairmen of standing committees during the interim.

2. Legislators must designate 2 (for Assembly members) or 4 (for Senators) measures for prefiling.

Each Senator must designate 4 BDR=s and each Assembly member must designate 2 BDR= s for prefiling. The designation must be made on or before the December 15, 1998, deadline for submitting interim BDR=s. These measures will be given priority in drafting, ensuring that they are ready before the start of session, and must be prefiled when they are completed. A legilator is free to prefile as many other measures as he or she chooses. If a legislator does not designate his or her priority bill draft requests, the designation may be made by the leadership of the respective parties and houses for the members of their caucuses. Prefiling is also required for measures requested in the interim by the chairmen of standing committees, interim subcommittees and statutory committees.

3. Some committees will begin meeting before session convenes.

The Senate Committee on Finance and the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means will begin holding hearings as soon as the budget is received. The budget must be submitted 2 weeks before the start of session, which means that these committees will begin holding hearings on the budget on Tuesday, January 19, 1999. Other morning committees (Senate Judiciary and Commerce and Labor, and Assembly Judiciary and Government Affairs) may, at the discretion of the chairman, meet on Thursday, January 28, 1999, and Friday, January 29, 1999. These committees can receive briefings on issues the committee will be considering and schedule hearings for the first week of session. Presession orientation for freshmen legislators will be conducted from Monday, January 25, 1999, through Wednesday, January 27, 1999.

4. BDR=s will be limited during session.

Legislators will be required to submit all of their bill draft requests, with full details and ready to be drafted, by the 8th calendar day of session, and will be limited to 4 requests for Senators and 2 for Assembly members.

Standing committees will be required to submit all of their bill draft requests, with full details and ready to be drafted, by the 22nd calendar day of session. Each house will be limited to 50 committee requests, with leadership allocating the requests among the committees.

5. Legislators will be required to introduce delivered measures promptly.

All BDR=s, whether requested by an individual Legislator or a committee, must be introduced no later than 10 calendar days after initial delivery, or on the next legislative day if the Legislature is not in session that day. If a BDR needs to be revised, the Legal Division will give the redo priority to ensure that it will be ready as soon as possible. A redo must be introduced within 15 days after initial delivery, and a bill that has a second or subsequent redo must be introduced no later than 20 days after initial delivery.

This limitation is in addition to the deadline for introduction, which may require introduction in less than 10 days. If a bill is delivered within 10 days of the deadline for introduction (discussed below), that deadline applies -- a legislator does not get extra time as a result of this limitation.

6. There are strict deadlines for committee and floor action on measures.

The committee recommended that the following deadlines be established by Joint Rule for action on measures. The accompanying chart illustrates the deadlines:

1. All bills and resolutions requested by an individual Legislator must be introduced on or before the 43rd calendar day of session (Monday, March 15, 1999). This is 35 days after the deadline for requesting such measures. The deadline for the Legal Division to complete the drafting of these bills is the 36th day, leaving 1 week for redo=s.

2. All bills and resolutions requested by a standing committee must be introduced on or before the 50th calendar day of session (Monday, March 22, 1999). This is 28 days after the deadline for requesting such measures. The deadline for the Legal Division to complete the drafting of these bills is the 43rd calendar day.

3. All bills and resolutions must be passed out of the final committee of reference in the house of origin (if at all) on or before the 68th calendar day of session (Friday, April 9, 1999). A measure may be re-referred to the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means or the Senate Committee on Finance after this date, but not to any other committee within the house of origin.

4. All bills and resolutions must be passed out of the house of origin (if at all) on or before the 78th calendar day of session (Monday, April 19, 1999). This allows 10 days between passage of the measure out of committee and required floor action.

5. All bills and resolutions must be passed out of the final substantive committee of reference in the second house (if at all) on or before the 103rd calendar day of session (Friday, May 14, 1999). A measure may be re-referred to the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means or the Senate Committee on Finance after this date, but not to any other committee within the second house.

6. All bills and resolutions must be passed by the second house (if at all) on or before the 110th calendar day of session (Friday, May 21, 1999). This allows 7 days between passage of the measure out of committee and required floor action.

7. Reports of Committees on Conference must be turned in for drafting on or before the 118th calendar day of session (Saturday, May 29, 1999).

8. The Legislature adjourns sine die no later than midnight on Monday, May 31, 1999.

7. Certain measures are exempt from these deadlines and limitations.

The following measures are exempt from the limitations on committee requests and the deadlines for introduction and passage:

1. All measures requested by or referred to the Senate Committee on Finance or the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means which contain an appropriation, authorize an expenditure of unappropriated funds, create or increase a significant fiscal liability, or significantly decrease a revenue.

2. Resolutions that memorialize or commend a person or group of people, and resolutions relating to legislative business (adoption of rules, appointment of attaches, establishing interim studies, etc.).

Exempt measures can be requested, introduced and passed at any time by an appropriate standing committee.

8. The deadlines may be waived in writing with respect to a particular bill.

The Speaker of the Assembly and the Majority Leader of the Senate may, jointly, waive one or more of the deadlines with respect to a particular measure. The waiver must be in writing, signed by both the Speaker and the Majority Leader, and can either (1) waive all deadlines with respect to a measure, (2) waive specified deadlines on a measure, or (3) waive deadlines and impose new restrictions on passage of a measure. The waiver would be made a part of the history of the bill.

9. Members of leadership may request a limited number of bills that are not subject to the deadlines and limitations.

The Speaker of the Assembly and the Majority Leader of the Senate will be entitled to request 5 emergency measures each. The Minority Leaders of the two houses will be entitled to request 2 emergency measures each. These measures may be requested at any time and are exempt from all of the deadlines.

10. Amendments must be in the same specific subject as the bill being amended.

The committee also recommended that the Joint Rules provide that amendments must be in the same specific subject as the bill being amended. This will prevent circumvention of the rules by amendment: a bill cannot be replaced by an entirely new measure.


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