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General Assembly meeting in short 2013 session
The Capitol will be humming for the 30 day short session.

They’re baackk..

(Frankfort, KY - January 8, 2013) - Those wild and wacky legislators came back to Frankfort today like swallows to Capistrano, seals to the Galapagos or vultures to rotting corpses.

For those unaccustomed to observing the habits of these annual pilgrims, here’s a very short, “I’m Just a Bill” mini-guide to the 2013 General Assembly:

 This is a “short” session. The Legislature meets for thirty days spread over three months. 

 Part I: The Senate and House convene January 8th – meet until January 11th.  Then they adjourn.
 Part II: Both Houses come back on February 5th and meet until March 11th.
Important dates:

 February 8th – last day to request a new bill (after this, legislators have to jink around and fill up bill numbers already filed)
 February 15th – last day for new Senate bills (since they file nowhere near as many bills as the House, this isn’t such a red letter day)
 February 19th – last day for new House bills.
 March 8 & 9th – Concurrence days –  Two days to line up bills that come out of each house on the same subject. May coincide with basketball schedules for some well known schools (just sayin’)
 March 12-22d - Veto days- ten days for any Governor who’s an extremely slow reader to go through what’s the General Assembly agreed on and reject it. (Spring break anyone?)
 March 26th – sine die –literally “without a day” – meaning the day of adjournment.

Important bills – Leadership in both houses usually reserve lower bill numbers for their priority. For example, Senate Bill 1 is predicted to be legislation to let troops overseas vote electronically. 

Higher numbers? Not so much. Very few bills become law and many bills that represent a special constituency never see the light of day - or the glare of lights in a committee room. (Committee chairs pick what bills get heard - and in a short session, that translates to very few.)

Important websites:

Keep www.lrc.ky.gov bookmarked. Bills can be followed on the website. Contact information for legislators, toll free numbers, meeting schedules, and more. Or call toll free 1-800-840-2835 to check status.

In fact, if there is absolutely nothing on the tube, hulu, twitter, facebook, linked in and you just need that legislative fix – KET broadcasts some committee meetings and the action in both chambers.  Go to http://www.ket.org/legislature/ for the best in reality TV.

Worse comes to worse, go to the State Capitol and see for yourself what your elected representative gets paid to do.

Parking is available in the parking garage next to the Capitol on the farthest levels. The good spots belong to legislators. There’s a cafeteria in the Capitol Annex and a tunnel from the Annex to the Capitol.

Committee meetings are open to the public. Meetings are held in the Annex.

Call first for information and scheduling:  1-800-633-9650

Sausage making 101 is now in session.

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