Mon April 23, 2012
State Capitol Report: Flurry of Bills As Lawmakers Wrap-Up Session
Lawmakers at the state Capitol are eager to go home—so much so they’re going to try to wrap everything up this week. That means the gears of government turn a little faster. The House and Senate will kick into overdrive, likely passing reams of legislation in a few days. It’s a strange time—where controversial proposals come out of nowhere and legislation thought long dead suddenly rises from the grave.
“Last year there were 510 new laws passed. About 200 of those were passed in the last week,” says WPLN’s Capitol Correspondent Joe White. The bills don’t receive the same kind of scrutiny and debate as they do earlier in the session because some of the bills move so fast they literally come out of committee and go to the floor for a vote sometimes within hours.
Last week, the House approved a measure that would make it illegal to harm human embryos on a vote 80 to 18. Another controversial bill speeding through the legislature would impact unemployment benefits of higher wage earners, forcing them to take a job within three months, or lose their benefits. At times, the legislature has had to clean up bills that sailed through without enough debate.