Session starts Feb. 25, but House committees are already holding hearings for bills on a variety of topics, from capital projects to taxes to transportation.
(Published Jan 21, 2014)
The Minnesota House on Jan. 13 posted 280 drafts of bills that could be considered during the 2014 legislative session. Although somewhat atypical, recess bill introductions are authorized under House Rules, and the bills have been given an official file number and are unofficially referred to committee.
These bills will be officially introduced, given a first reading, and officially referred to committee when the House reconvenes on Feb. 25. The Senate does not have a rule governing the recess introduction of legislation.
Keep in mind that legislation introduced in both the House and Senate last year during the regular legislative session is also viable and can be considered during the 2014 session. Last year, House members introduced 1,862 bills while Senate members introduced 1,682 bills.
The bill introductions cover a wide array of issues. For example, there are 57 bills related to various capital investment projects, 46 bills on various tax policy issues, 25 bills related to state government operations, and 18 bills related to public safety policy and funding.
House committees begin meeting
Although the legislative session does not officially start for over a month, a variety of House committees are already meeting, and the pace of hearings will increase during the week of Jan. 27, which has been designated by House leadership as a week reserved for committee meetings.
The hearings will likely include informal discussions of previously introduced or pre-filed bills or other emerging issues. If standing committees meet, they will generally convene according to the regular session committee schedule.
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