March 7, 2023

Proposal to change the legislative session tabled in committee

The House Judiciary Committee tabled legislation that sought to change legislative session lengths to 45 days each year on a 5-4 vote on Monday.  

HJR 14 sought to let voters decide to change the legislative session to 45 days each year and would have removed the restriction on presenting non-budgetary bills in even-numbered years. Currently, the Legislature can only hear bills related to the budget or those place on the call by the governor in even-numbered years.

The legislative session in odd-numbered years is 60 days long, while those in even-numbered years are 30 days long.

HJR 14 is similar to HJR 2 which seeks to let voters decide if the legislative session should be extended to 60 days.

Committee members argued that the bill is not feasible since the current legislative session is past its 45th calendar day and committees are still hearing bills for the first time. However, committee members liked taking away the bill presentation restriction during even-numbered years.

The legislation also would have required the voters to approve the change, as it would require amending the state constitution.

HJR 2 is currently awaiting action from the full House.