CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The House of Delegates and state Senate saw a combined 117 bills introduced during their respective floor sessions on Monday, the 41st day of the regular session and the final day for lawmakers to introduce new bills.
House and Senate rules dictate no new legislation can be introduced after the 41st day of each year's session. This does not apply to House or Senate resolutions, however.
"It's kind of the last hurrah," said House Clerk Gregory Gray, who saw 81 bills introduced in his chamber Monday morning.
"This is calm for what we've had in the past, in years gone by."
In years past, Gray has seen more than 200 bills introduced on the 41st day.
The reason for the deadline is simple: everything has to end at some point. A lot of work is involved in introducing a bill -- it must be drafted, approved, processed and printed before it can land in a chamber's hopper -- and Gray said without a deadline lawmakers would introduce legislation until the end of session and gum up the works.
Cutting off bill introductions also gives House and Senate committees time to review the legislation and decide whether to pass it along for full floor votes.
Gray says it is "kind of like getting your taxes filed, except we don't let them have an extension."
The Senate saw 36 bills introduced on Monday.
Senate President Jeff Kessler said there's no particular strategy at play when bills are introduced this late in the session. He said late introductions often are bills that lawmakers have promised constituents they would introduce and haven't had time for yet, or bills spurred by recent developments.
He said bills sometimes show up late in the session simply because their sponsoring legislator has procrastinated.
And while Kessler believes the chances of a late-blooming bill being passed are "significantly lower" than bills introduced early in the session, Gray was more optimistic.