29 April 2005

Legislative regular session through 4/29/05

Now that the session has started, the Log will expand somewhat. There’s still a few more days for bill filing to occur and that will be reported upon, in terms of good and bad bills. In addition, the status of good and bad bills will be updated, with a scorecard on their fates periodically published. Also, warning will be given as to when these bills are coming up for consideration at some point in the legislative process. It should be noted that 40 House and 21 Senate bills were designated as good bills, while 40 House and 18 Senate bills were designated as bad bills. You may search previous entries in the Log by bill name to find out more information about a specific bill.

THIS WEEK FOR THE GOOD: HB 331, despite caterwauling by unions, got a warm reception and passed the House Retirement Committee unanimously with slight amendments (basically pushing back its effective date six months). It awaits floor action.

THIS WEEK FOR THE BAD: HB 21 also saw no opposition and was passed out of the House Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs Committee. It awaits floor action. By contrast, SB 190 was heard by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee and got a lukewarm response for reasons different than my criticisms. It was tabled.

MONDAY: SB 7 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Retirement Committee; SB 23 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee; SB 44 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Finance Committee; SB 120 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee; HB 360 is scheduled to be heard by the House Ways and Means Committee; HB 441 is scheduled to be heard by the House Ways and Means Committee; HB 560 is scheduled to be heard by the House Appropriations Committee; HB 603 is scheduled to be heard by the House Ways and Means Committee; HB 604 is scheduled to be heard by the House Ways and Means Committee; HB 631 is scheduled to be heard by the House Ways and Means Committee; HB 632 is scheduled to be heard by the House Ways and Means Committee; HB 691 is scheduled to be heard by the House Way and Means Committee

TUESDAY: SB 323 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Judiciary C Committee.

FILING BILLS THAT ARE THE GOOD: Sorry, with only 10 new bills introduced (all in the House) this week, none ended up qualifying.

AND THE BAD: John Alario’s HB 815 isn’t even half a loaf. It raises sales taxes on certain items now exempt and dedicates their proceeds to pay raises to educators. At least outside of colleges, other educators have done nothing to deserve raises at this point so this is an unnecessary tax. It only partially restores some itemized deductions from state income taxes from federal income taxes rid by the Stelly Plan; much better bills are out there bringing it all back (this bill is the companion to his bad HB 590).

SCORECARD:

Total House introductions: 820; Total Senate introductions: 330

Total House good bills: 40; Total Senate good bills: 21

Total House bad bills: 41; Total Senate bad bills: 18

Total House good bills assigned to committee: 4; Total Senate good bills assigned to committee: 2

Total House bad bills assigned to committee: 9; Total Senate bad bills assigned to committee: 1

Total House good bills passing committee: 1; Total Senate good bills passing committee: 0

Total House bad bills passing committee: 1; Total Senate bad bills passing committee: 0

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