As of April 30, 796 pieces of legislation were advanced from committee to the General Assembly for consideration.

Just over a third of bills the General Assembly will consider this session come from five committees: the Government Administration and Elections Committee, which advanced 70 bills; the Joint Committee on Judiciary, which advanced 65 bills; the Public Health Committee, which advanced 54 bills; and the Energy and Technology Committee and Environment Committee, which each advanced 50 bills.

The Government Administration and Elections Committee, which advanced the most legislation, hears all matters relating to the Department of Administrative Services, the administrative functions of the Office of Governmental Accountability, the Freedom of Information Commission, the Office of State Ethics, the Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board, and the State Elections Enforcement Commission. Nearly half of the bills the committee advanced pertain to elections and touch on subjects such as absentee voting, campaign spending, and election canvassing procedures. Among the bills to come out of the committee are six proposed constitutional amendments.

Other committees that advanced a significant number of pieces of legislation include the Human Services Committee, which advanced 47 bills. 12 of those bills are related to Medicaid and touch on issues such as expansion of coverage, rates, and reimbursement.

The Planning and Development Committee advanced 49 bills, many focused on zoning, permitting and other issues at the municipal level. The Appropriations Committee advanced 41 bills, while the Public Safety and Security Committee advanced 41.

The Education Committee advanced 37 bills and the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee advanced 31.

Ten legislative committees advanced between 20 and 30 pieces of legislation. The Banking Committee and Committee on Veterans’ and Military Affairs each advanced 20 bills. The Transportation Committee, Commerce Committee, and Energy and Technology Committee each advanced 24 bills. The Housing Committee advanced 25 bills, while the General Law Committee and Insurance and Real Estate Committee each advanced 26 bills. The Committee on Children and Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee both advanced 28 bills. 15 of those bills were related to matters of taxation.

The Aging Committee, which screens legislation on matters relating to senior citizens, advanced 17 bills, the least of any committee.

The General Assembly is scheduled to meet next on May 3 to consider pending legislation. The final deadline by which committees must have reported out bills, set by the joint rules of the General Assembly, has passed. The Appropriations Committee, which handles all matters related to the budget of state agencies, has the latest deadline to report out legislation. For the current session, that deadline occurred on April 28.

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An advocate for transparency and accountability, Katherine has over a decade of experience covering government. She has degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Maine and her...

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