… perhaps it’s because things are moving slowly.
William Spence of the Lewiston Tribune crunched the numbers. Over the first four weeks of the 2013 Legislature, lawmakers introduced 137 bills, 25 percent below the five-year average.
The closest recent parallel was 2009, during the height of the recession, when 137 bills were introduced at the four-week mark.
There are several possible causes — starting with this year’s large freshman class. Thirty rookies are in the House, along with two new senators (another nine Senate newbies have House experience).
“They’re trying to figure things out and we’re helping them along,” House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, told Spence. “There’s a lot of informational meetings going on. And there’s still a lot of concern about the national economy and what’s happening back East (in Washington, D.C.); I think that adds to it.”
In many legislative committees — including the Senate Education Committee — today is a make-or-break day. It’s the 36th legislative day, the deadline for many committees to consider new bills. Consequently, Senate Education will consider introducing 11 bills this afternoon, contributing to a busy Monday around the education beat.