Updated: Jul 21
It’s almost unbelievable. Lawmakers across our region have introduced some 4,000 new laws over the past three months. That’s more than 40 per day! Some of the legislation will directly impact you and your family, while other legislation leaves many of us scratching our heads. I mean, do we really need official state dinosaurs?
While the Idaho legislative session has just about wrapped up (likely Thursday), Montana and Washington lawmakers still have a ways to go.
The volume of new laws can be overwhelming to the average citizen watching from afar. Heck, it can be overwhelming to the average lawmaker who is responsible for reading through the bills and understanding the issues.
Not every bill will make it across the finish line, but each piece of legislation does take time, effort, and yes money to be introduced, heard, and either discarded or advanced.
In Idaho, lawmakers this year introduced 635 bills - pretty much on par with recent history.
Montana's legislative session still has about a month to go, and already legislators have surpassed previous years. Montana's legislature meets only every other year, but the trend is up.
In Washington, lawmakers meet every year, but odd-numbered years are budget writing years and are therefore longer sessions. While the latest numbers are low (comparatively speaking), they will increase when lawmakers reconvene in January of 2024.
What does it all mean? That might depend on your political point of view. Some states actually limit the volume - and Montana is one of those states. But lawmakers always have a way to get around those restrictions if they desire.