In Brief: Effort to restructure Legislature’s schedule fails

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.

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