Conference Committees Confer

We’re in the final 48 hours of the 2009 session.  Time is running short to get things done.

Under Joint Rules, all legislation has to pass both chambers by midnight Thursday, February 26.  If bills have passed both chambers but in differing versions, then the bills “go into conference” to work out a compromise. 

Three members are picked from each body to negotiate the final form of the legislation.  On the Senate side, with our reduced numbers, you can serve on 4-5 conference commitees simultaneously.  That makes the last few days a mad scramble.   I’m seeing that occur right now. 

The most important conference committee is the State Budget Bill.  For that bill, each side picks six negotiators all of whom handle different aspects of the budget. 

Conference reports are due tomorrow by midnight.  That could make a long night.  

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