The Legislature has completed 27 days as of Friday, Feb. 12. The House of Representatives is a little behind the point we were at last session at this point. The House has received 503 bills this year and there are 244 bills waiting for floor action. Of those bills 123 are awaiting committee action.

Our House Education Committee has processed all the bills that were assigned to our committee at this point. The House Political Subdivisions Committee conducted the last of its public hearings on Friday. There are about 12 bills that the Political Subdivision Committee has left to review and make recommendations for a do pass or do not pass recommendation. The Committee is planning on having all the bills out of Committee and sent to the floor for action by next Friday.

Crossover for bills is Friday, Feb. 26, when all the bills have to have been acted on by the House and the Senate. The bills acted upon the House will cross over to the Senate for their action and the bills acted upon by the Senate will cross over to the House for their action.

Looking at that deadline, on Monday, Feb. 15, the House will begin conducting two-hour floor sessions. Depending on how committee hearings proceed, there could be morning floor sessions along with longer afternoon sessions to ensure that remaining approximately 244 bills in the House will have a floor vote.

Some days the House will process twenty-some bills, and other days we struggle to handle five bills. The reason for this is the subject matter and the complexity of bills being discussed. There have been bills that come out of committee with a Do Not Pass recommendation and are overturned following floor discussion. The decision to not follow the recommendation of the committee is not taken lightly.

This is made only when there is overriding, convincing discussion during the floor session. Many times, after in depth floor discussion the recommendation of the committee is followed.

Looking forward to the next two weeks the House will be considering the budgets for a number of agencies. The Appropriation Committee, and its sub-committees have been working diligently on developing realistic budgets that maintain needed services while balancing the budgets. This is a difficult process and they spend many hours reviewing revenue projections and try to determine the impact of the changes occurring on the federal level and changes occurring throughout the world economies. These are challenging bills to develop and will take careful consideration. Rep. Bert Anderson sits on the House Appropriation Committee and Senator David Rust sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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