Giving General Assembly flexibility purpose of proposed amendment

A proposed constitutional amendment to give the General Assembly more flexibility in their schedule passed its first hurdle, winning easy approval from the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

The bill, sponsored by House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, would keep the 30-day limit in odd-numbered years and 60-day limit in even-numbered years, but remove the hard deadlines when legislative sessions must end. This means they could decide to meet only a few days per month, which would allow them to stretch their sessions throughout the calendar year.

In addition, through a 60% vote by both chambers, they could extend the sessions by 10 days.

During an appearance before the committee, Osborne said while he has had this idea for several years, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 2020 session made the issue more important.

“We could have been a much more effective legislature if we had been able to hit the pause button, learn additional things that we didn’t know about in March and April, and comeback and address those things later down the road,” he said.

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