Bill Introduction Limits and Pre-Filing Requirements in SLC Member States
In recent years, several states and legislative chambers have created a limit on the number of bills that may be introduced each legislative session. Proponents have argued that this will force legislators to only introduce legislation that is likely to pass and may decrease the need for longer sessions or special sessions. In some chambers, the limit only applies after the chamber’s pre-filing deadline. Table 1 displays the limits placed on legislation introduced each session in the 15 Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) member states. Six SLC member states apply a limit in at least one of their legislative chambers.
Table 1. Limits on Bills Introduced Per Session in SLC Member States
|State/Chamber||Limit on Legislation Introduced Per Session|
|Florida House||Six bills per member|
|Florida Senate||No limit|
|Louisiana||Five bills that were not pre-filed|
|North Carolina House||15 bills per member|
|North Carolina Senate||No limit|
|Oklahoma House||Eight bills or joint resolutions per member *|
|Oklahoma Senate||No limit|
|South Carolina||No limit|
|Tennessee House||15 bills per member|
|Tennessee Senate||No limit|
|Virginia House||15 per member in odd-numbered years; five non-pre-filed bills after the pre-filing deadline|
|Virginia Senate||Eight non-pre-filed bills after the pre-filing deadline|
|West Virginia||No limit|
* There are exceptions to this limit. See the section on Oklahoma for more information.
In the past several years, many states have introduced laws aimed at curbing human trafficking of both minors and adults. States have especially focused on increasing penalties for those convicted of trafficking, with more severe punishments when the victim involved is a minor. Punishments include decades of imprisonment and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma and West Virginia all have passed such measures in the past three to four years.
All states in the Southern region have passed anti-trafficking legislation to some degree. Provisions found in prior pieces of legislation include:
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