Officials Expect A Lot Of Bills This Session

Jan 11, 2018

Credit Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

Officials expect a busy 2018 legislative session.

The Legislative Research Council is seeing a significant increase in requests for measures this year.

As lawmakers and committees are getting settled in during the first week of session, their bill requests themselves flood in as well.

Legislative Research Council Director Jason Hancock says his office is working through a tremendous number of bill draft requests.

“We’re starting to approach the total number of bill draft requests that we’ve had, like, for a whole session for the last couple of years,” Hancock says.

Hancock says generally there are around 350 bill draft requests during the first week of session. He says his office has around 640 bill requests already.

Hancock says a large freshman class of legislators came in last year. He says it’s one of the largest the state’s ever seen.

“I think it’s just a matter of, the lawmaking process is a learning process too," Hancock says. "As these new legislators become more familiar with that process, more proficient as legislators, and get a better sense of what they want to do and how they want to accomplish it, you’re starting to see them become more engaged.”

Hancock says his staff is working overtime to draft legislation for lawmakers. Under state rules, every bill has the right to get introduced and must be given a final disposition -- either passed, deferred, or voted down.