We are down to the last few days of the 2009 legislative session, and as usual, most of the bills that were introduced have not been addressed, and probably will not be. In his latest Capital Report, Rep. Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, talks about the final hectic days:
It is near the end of the session, and bills that have been locked up in committees and conference are now literally clogging the House Calendar. With five legislative days remaining available for floor consideration it appears many of those bills will not be brought forward for debate, and therefore will not be heard.
Now, I’m not a proponent of more legislation that creates more laws. My feeling is that we have many laws that are not enforced. Adding more to the statute books can only contribute, in my opinion, to the likelihood of noncompliance and enforcement.
Each year the Joint Committee on Legislative Research produces an annual Report of Laws which expire, sunset, terminate or become ineffective. Literally, hundreds of statutes are removed from the books. Yet, just as they are removed, others are passed and become the laws of the state. This process has been in place throughout statehood.
I have previously referred to the volume of legislation filed each year in the House. In 2005, 991 house bills were filed for House action. In 2008, three years later, the total number of House bills filed climbed to 1,336, an increase of 74%. Yet, volume of introduced bills does not guarantee successful passage through the House. Example: Of the 991 bills introduced in 2005, 4% were Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed. In 2008, 9 bills were Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed, representing 0.7% of the 1,336 introduced.
As you can see, it appears that, although more bills are proposed each year, fewer become law. I will continue to work so that critical legislation is passed, and unnecessary and frivolous legislation is left for further consideration.