Members of the state House spent much of their first week in session wrangling over a new cap on how many laws can be proposed. The Senate has a bill-cutting plan of its own for next year.
Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says the 15-bill cap per lawmaker was not his preference. He says next year he’ll propose dropping the deadline for making proposals, so there’s no rush to file before legislation is game-ready.
“I like the no bill filing deadline. That way you won’t have the duplication because people can look in the hopper and see if something has been filed an sign on with somebody else.”
Getting rid of the filing cutoff would allow lawmakers to respond to current events. Ramsey says it would also stop the use of so-called “caption bills” that can be amended to do just about anything.
The cap on legislation in the House is intended to improve efficiency and save money. Republican leaders have had trouble quantifying the potential savings. And Democrats argue they’re just being marginalized since a limit per lawmaker necessarily means fewer minority proposals.