It’s Not Only What You File …

But when you file it.

Monday was the deadline for getting legislation drafted. From now until the Session begins, members will be filing their legislation with the Clerk’s office. Sometimes, it’s worth a little thought on when it’s most advantageous to drop the bill.

Filing a bill early certainly has some advantages. For one thing, the reporters who are in Richmond anyway need to write about something. On a slow news day, they may decide that writing about your bill is better than covering final meeting of the Study Commission on the State Aardvark.

If your bill is very controversial and destined for a swift subcommittee demise, the early publicity may be all you can hope for.

But there are disadvantages to filing early. It gives your opponents a chance to line up their opposition. And sometimes other members (certainly no one we know) may steal your idea and file the same bill with their name on it.

Me? I mostly file late, largely for convenience. Over the years, I have learned to file my bills in chunks. One year, all my bills had consecutive numbers, and I never COULD keep it straight if the school construction bill was 636 or 637. So now I drop some on Monday, more on Tuesday, still others on Wednesday morning.

3 thoughts on “It’s Not Only What You File …”

  1. I would write in a notebook the number of my bill next to the title. :-)

    Seriously, this is good stuff. Thank you for all your efforts.

    Amazing that theft is part of the MO in the GA.

  2. I write it on the bill jacket! I write it on the chart on my wall. But I do not carry the number around in my head. So when people stop you in the hall and say, “I need to talk to you about your 636,” you’d like to remember WHAT that is. Glad you and Waldo found it informative. Just thought it was one of those nuggets that folks might not have considered.

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