Crossover caveat: 'Not dead yet'

Posted May 16, 2013

— Bills that are subject to crossover and don't make the deadline are considered "dead" for the rest of the two-year session.

But "dead" bills often don't stay that way at the General Assembly.

Lawmakers have come up with many strategies over the years for resurrecting measures that don't make crossover. The following are among the most common:

  • The substance of a bill can be added to another bill that did make the deadline, as long as the subject matter is germane. For example, a proposal to ban Sunday early voting didn't make crossover, but lawmakers could always add it into a voting bill that passed the deadline, turning it into an omnibus bill.
  • A bill that passed one chamber can have its contents replaced and its title changed, becoming a vehicle for a bill that didn't make it. This is known as a "gut and amend."
  • The language of the bill can be inserted into the budget as a special provision.
  • Lawmakers can add an appropriation or fee of some kind to the bill, thereby turning it into a "money" bill. Bills that spend or take in money aren't subject to the deadline.

Constitutional amendments are not subject to the crossover deadline. Redistricting bills and adjournment resolutions are also exempt.


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