By Cowboy State Daily
An effort to restructure the meeting schedule for the Legislature was defeated Wednesday in its first review by the full Senate.
Senators voted 27-3 against HJ 6, which would have eliminated the two different types of legislative sessions held every two years.
Currently, in odd-numered years, the Legislature meets for 40 days to consider bills dealing with any topic in the state. In even-numbered years, the Legislature meets for 20 days to approve the state’s budget. During a budget session, any legislation not having to do with the budget must be approved for introduction by a two-thirds majority of the Senate or the House.
The Legislature cannot meet for more than 60 days in a 2-year period unless a special session is called.Under HJ 6, there would no longer be designated sessions. Lawmakers could meet for up to 60 days in a 2-year period, but they could adjust the length of those sessions to any time they saw fit.
The biggest change would be the elimination of the requirement for non-budget bills to win a two-thirds majority vote for introduction during a budget session. Supporters of the bill said the Legislature spends too much time during budget sessions reviewing and debating the introduction of bills.