The Locker Room

Crossover caution

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 09:24 AM

State lawmakers would not have spent hours scrutinizing dozens of bills this week if the crossover deadline had no meaning.

But one should remember this key fact: The crossover deadline is geared toward bills which legislative leaders do not support or about which they do not care.

If legislative leaders want to move a measure forward, they will find the means -- regardless of deadlines. They'll attach some sort of budget provision to keep the original bill alive. They'll gut a bill that has crossed over from the other chamber to create a vehicle for their own bill. Senate leaders have also suggested they have no problem continuing the practice of inserting special provisions into the state budget to move legislation forward.

Good and bad bills still have life in them; if they've not crossed over, that life now depends on the preferences of the people who wield the gavels.

Chief bill drafter Gerry Cohen addresses some other crossover myths in his blog.

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