The 2018 legislative session has nine days to go before ending next week at noon on Thursday. Since the deadline for bill introductions has passed, we now know that we are tracking 32 pieces of legislation, 15 in the House and 17 in the Senate.
As we mentioned last week, just because we are tracking these insurance and business related measures doesn't mean that we are seeing much activity. In fact, we are feeling a lot like our TV weather anchors that have been dealing with the same nightly forecast for weeks on end. As one forecaster so succinctly put it last night, “I'd like to be able tell you that I'm finally excited about a change in our warm and sunny forecast, but I can't…I got nothin'!"
So like our bored weather folks, we don't see much activity on the horizon. As is often the case in short legislative sessions, a large number of bills are introduced with the hope of getting the Governor to put it on the agenda, but are ultimately disappointed. Fully half of the bills we are tracking did not get a Governor's 'message' to make them germane.
Most of the remaining insurance and business related bills that did make it on to 'the call', or were automatically included because they had fiscal implications, have not seen much movement. Many of the bills still in play are listed on our tracking sheet as Tax & Regulatory bills. Since Governor Martinez has gone on the record saying that she won't sign any tax bills that don't include comprehensive tax reform, we don't see much hope for any of them. That is perhaps why almost none of them have passed a single committee.
So as we slog toward the end of the session, it is possible that we won't see a single one of our tracked bills make it to the Governor's desk. Although this is almost unprecedented, it is not necessarily a bad thing. As an industry that many legislators love to hate, it's kind of nice to have an easy session where nothing damaging seems to be on the horizon. So, unlike some of our weather prognosticators, we're beginning to embrace the boredom!
That's it for this week. We'll attempt to stay awake and return next week with our final report from the Roundhouse.
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