What DAY is it? When are we done? What's going on?
Feeling a bit of Groundhog’s Day blues? Was Day 66 a repeat? Was Day 67 a double too? Why, yes they were - and we may double again, but we don't know. Hold up, let’s break down progress.
Legislative Session is limited by law to 80 days, every two years. An official day is counted when at least one chamber gavels in their floor session to have legislative action occur. Committee work is where the majority of the drilling and digging into policy is completed. Committee work (including conference committees) does not count toward the 80 days. Twice now in the past week, the Chambers have chosen not to gavel-in and instead focused on committee work. This means that the session could now extend until May 8.
NOW, that doesn’t mean they have to take the 80 days all at once. They can adjourn and save some legislative days for future work or action – like we should with chocolate chip cookies, something to retain/savor for later. The last time they needed to utilize saved days in order to reconvene was June 2015. But they will have to work quickly in order to have all the bills put to bed and a budget passed, especially if they want to have spare legislative days. GNDC staff members are starting to place their bets on just when sine die is to occur.
Sine Die is the official term for wrap-up. This Latin phrase, "without day," is the final adjournment of the assembly with a reconvening day set. Yes, main events are scheduled for bringing these elected officials back, but it is not known if pressing matters will happen. Vetoes are one thing, but other unplanned actions may require attention and action so days are not meant to be squandered.
In the meantime, things (from policy to moods) are shifting fast. Progression on bills can seem flatlined until bursts of frenzied activity happen. Each day or hour looks a little different. It’s hard to report on this action as conference committee work is carrying the load. However, GNDC remains vigilant and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
This may be a good time to remind readers of our Legislative Report, where we reveal our Chamber Champions. Mark your calendar for June 6 webinar at 10 AM.