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Friday, January 07, 2005

First week of session

The first week of session is over, and so far there haven't been many surprises at the Legislature. Yesterday's floor session was quick and painless, designed for moving paper around to committees, which is what most floor sessions will be like until around March or so. Most of the new members are still learning how everything works, from committees to introducing bills to finding the thermostats in their offices.

The House's publication, Session Weekly, is a great place to go to read up on what is happening. The Senate also has a publication, but the Senate Briefly just isn't as good as the House's weekly news roundup.

It looks like the early priorities of the legislature will be the bonding bill and criminal justice issues. The budget, the main purpose of this odd-year session, appears to be in the background. Presumably this is because nobody is looking forward to dealing with another deficit. It won't go away, however, and how the legislature and the governor deal with this deficit will have a large impact on what happens in the 2006 elections.

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