Fiscal Cutoff

apps committee in actionState legislatures typically meet for a relatively short period of time each year and consequently are very deadline driven. Congress works on things until they are ready to be brought forward, but in most states (including Washington) the dates are relentless and serve to help the body focus on what is likely to get done this session and what is not.

Friday, Feb. 27 was our first fiscal cutoff – the date by which all bills that spend money have to pass out of a fiscal committee or they die. Like deaths in bad movies, sometimes dead bills come back to life and wander around like zombies, but most of the bills that didn’t pass out of the Appropriations committee are dead for real. The one big exception is bills that either raise money or cause a deep structural revision in how we fund things. These are Necessary to Implement the Budget, or NTIB. This is a coveted status as it means you are exempt from cutoff dates.

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