As a quick overview – any bill submitted must have three readings before being considered for a final vote. Only one action can be taken on a bill in a single day. Therefore it takes three days for a bill to pass the House or Senate. First reading occurs when a bill is filed, second reading occurs when a bill is favorably reported out of committee (unfavorable bills die in committee or, oftentimes referred to a sub-committee for further study...a slower death). Bills with a second reading are available to be added to the Special Order Calendar, the vehicle that places them in position for final passage by coming before the full body for a final vote.
You can track legislation and determine what phase it is in at the Legislative Website. The site has gone through some recent updates on the front end but remains very cumbersome on the backend...oh the irony if we spent taxpayer dollars to update this archaic resource!
Once on the site click on the “Session Info” tab, launching back in time to the old ALISON system (this is the part that needs updating). Next click on the “Bills” link in the left column; here you can find the status of a bill by bill number or bill sponsor. You must know who the bill sponsor is or have the bill number. Bill numbers are SB for Senate Bill or HB for House Bill. The bills are numbered in the order they are submitted. Please note the numbers re-set each session so SB14 from the 2015 session has no relationship to SB14 for 2016.
I will continue to link to bills that I discuss on the blog throughout the session.
I remained in Montgomery today, holding several meetings in my office and attending the final budget hearings this afternoon. Tomorrow morning I will Chair the monthly Joint Legislative Contract Review meeting where we will review a total of 32 contracts valued at $3.6M. You can review the agenda here.
The Senate returns to session Tuesday morning.