Deadline Week. This week marks the first committee deadline (Friday, March 15). All policy bills must clear at least one policy committee in at least one house of the Legislature (any bill that is required to be heard in multiple policy committees must be approved by all related committees in one house). Companion bills of bills that meet this week's deadline can be heard next week with the second deadline being Friday, March 22. Of course, nothing is ever officially dead during the legislative session until the curtain comes down at the session's end, but these deadlines govern most everything and one rarely sees major policy legislation enacted if it doesn't meet the deadline framework.
So this will be a very busy week for policy committees in both the House and Senate. The House released the framework of its omnibus policy bill today. The Governor's policy bill is serving as the vehicle for the House omnibus education policy bill, but a number of other provisions are contained in the bill beyond the Governor's recommendations. They will start taking amendments on Wednesday so my guess is Wednesday is going to be a really long night, as a variety of amendments (ranging from cuddly and friendly to downright hostile) will be offered and discussed.