Under new rules of the House of Delegates, effect come January’s session, they’ve limited their members to introducing 15 bills per person, 10 pre-filed and 5 after the session begins. Assuming that delegates remain within their self-enforced rules, compare last year’s 2,234 bills to a maximum of 1,500 this time around. That’s a 33% drop in bills.
During this year’s session, only 30 members of the General Assembly submitted 15 or fewer bills. The average number submitted was 22; the mode was 18; the median 20.5. Bob Marshall topped out the list, with 75, followed by Mark Cole with 45, and a steady drop-off from there. 479 commendations were introduced in all (by my count). It’s true that this year was a budget session, while next year will be a regular session, but I’m not sure that particularly affects the bill counts, since budget amendments aren’t bills but, of course, amendments.
I have to wonder what the result of this limitation is going to be. Will we see a drastic result in commendations, license plate proposals, etc? Or will those be precisely the sort of feel-good pap that remains, with more complex proposals abandoned? It’s going to be tough to measure the result of this change meaningfully, but I intend to try.