Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
The deadline for moving bills out of committee and to the House floor for debate passed last week thus ending the future for many ideas this session. There were nearly 3800 bills introduced in the House and most were sent to one of 46 House committees for debate. Only a few hundred bills made it to the next stage on the road to becoming a law.
The committee chair has great discretion whether he or she will call a bill for a vote or just let the bill die without debate. Legislators introduce bills they are interested in or at the request of a constituent so it’s disappointing when there isn’t an opportunity to even discuss the idea.
If you have been following a particular bill, visit the legislative website (www.ilga.gov) to find the current status of the bill. Those that made it to the House floor “on second reading” will be debated during the next several weeks until the final deadline for House bill action on April 15. Each chamber of the legislature then takes up bills that have passed out of the other body. This component of our bicameral legislature slows the process down to give ideas a fuller hearing and further debate before changing our laws.