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As we have indicated in previous editions, all bills that were introduced in February for the 2012 legislative session must be in print for 30 days prior to hearing. Because the bulk of the bills were introduced in late February, hearings cannot get started until late March/early February. The Legislature takes its Spring Recess the first week in April, so this time is commonly referred to by lobbyists and such as “the calm before the storm.” This week and the next are filled with last minute amendments and tweaks and ensuring bills are referred to their policy committees. When the Legislature returns, the lengthy committee hearings will begin for the month of April. Policy committees have until April 27th to hear all fiscal bills and May 11th to hear all non-fiscal bills.
Fasten your seatbelts, it will be a wild ride.