Crossover deadline FAQ

I am getting a lot of emails and phone calls from members and others about the crossover deadline.  While questions requiring definitive answers are best directed to leadersip offices and the rules committee chairs, here are some basics:  

1) The crossover rules are set out in the House Rules and Senate Rules.  

2) The rules on crossover for House bills are set by the Senate Rules, the rules on crossover for Senate bills are set by the House rules.  

3) Although the language varies slightly, the basic point of the rule is that a bill is exempt from crossover if it is a public bill that appropriates money or has a substantial impact on the budget this biennium or in the future, or is a public or local bill that has to do with taxes, fees, or bond issues. Not included in the exemptions are bills that merely raise or impose or change fines for criminal offenses or impose or change civil penalties.  

4) The rule applies to a bill as it exists when it passes the house that originates it.  In other words, it is not significant what is in the bill today or on May 14, but what is in the bill when it passes third reading in the first house.  

5) The fact that a bill is in the appropriations or finance committee now, or has a serial referral to one of those committees is a good indicator that the current version of the bill is exempt from crossover, but the test is whether the rules REQUIRE the bill to go to one of those committees. As explained in #4 above, the test is actually applied based on what is in the bill when it passes third reading in the first house.  

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Here is the full text of the applicable rules   Senate Rule 41:

RULE 41. Crossover bill deadline. – In order to be eligible for consideration by the Senate during the 2009 or 2010 Regular Sessions of the  2009 General Assembly, all House bills other than those required to be referred to the Committee on Finance or the Committee on Appropriations/Base Budget by Rule 42 or adjournment resolutions must be received and read on the floor of the Senate as a message from the House no later than  Thursday,  May 14, 2009, provided that a message from the House received by the next legislative day stating that a bill has passed its third reading and is being engrossed shall comply with the requirements of this rule and provided that the House accepts Senate bills ordered engrossed on the next legislative day.

 Senate Rule 42:

RULE 42. Reference of appropriation and finance bills. – (a) All bills introduced in the Senate providing for appropriations from the State, or any subdivision thereof, shall, before being considered by the Senate, be referred to the Committee on Appropriations/Base Budget and bills referred to other committees carrying any such provisions shall be reported to the Senate as being bills to be referred to the Appropriations/Base Budget Committee before proper action may be taken by the Senate.

(b)        All bills introduced in the Senate providing for bond issues, imposing or raising fees or other revenues payable to the State, its agencies, its licensing boards, or any of its subdivisions, levying taxes, or in any manner affecting the taxing power of the State or any subdivision thereof, shall, before being considered by the Senate, be referred to the Committee on Finance, and bills referred to other committees carrying any such provisions shall be reported to the Senate as being bills to be referred to the Committee on Finance before proper action may be taken by the Senate.

(c)        This rule shall not apply to bills imposing civil penalties, criminal fines, forfeitures, or penalties for infractions.

House Rule 31.1(e)

(e)        In order to be eligible for consideration by the House during the first Regular Session, all Senate bills other than finance or appropriations bills which would be required to be re‑referred to the Appropriations or Finance Committee under Rule 38 or adjournment resolutions must be received and read on the floor of the House as a message from the Senate no later than Thursday, May 14, 2009; provided that a message from the Senate received by the next legislative day stating that a bill has passed its third reading and is being engrossed shall comply with the requirements of this subsection and provided that the Senate has a similar rule.

House Rule 38:

RULE 38. Reports on Appropriation and Revenue Bills. – (a) All standing committees, other than the Standing Committees on Appropriations, when favorably reporting any bill or resolution which:

(1)        Carries an appropriation from the State; or

(2)        Requires or will require in the future substantial additional State monies from the General Fund or Highway Fund to implement its provisions shall indicate same in the report, and said bill or resolution shall be referred to the Standing Committees on Appropriations for a further report before being acted upon by the House.

(b)        All standing committees, other than the Standing Committee on Finance, when favorably reporting any bill which in any way or manner raises revenue, reduces revenue, levies a tax, authorizes the levying of a tax, an assessment, or a fee, or authorizes the issue of bonds or notes, whether public, public‑local, or private*, shall indicate same in the report, and said bill shall be referred to the Standing Committee on Finance for a further report before being acted upon by the House. This subsection shall not apply to bills only imposing fines, forfeitures, or penalties.

(c)        Action on Amendment Before Re‑Referral. – If any standing committee recommends adoption of an amendment or committee substitute of a bill which, under the rules of the House, must be referred to the Standing Committees on Appropriations or the Standing Committee on Finance, the amendment or committee substitute shall be considered and, if adopted, the amendment or substitute engrossed before the bill is re‑referred.

*While the House rules refer to “public, public‑local, or private” bills, this should be read as “public or local”, as the terms “public-local” and “private” were merged into the word “local” by the 1943 General Assembly when the General Statutes were first enacted February 4, 1943, but the terms still persist in this rule. I am sure some session we will get around to changing the reference.

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  3. […] of the rules of the Senate that he would be moving the bill out the Rules committee before the cross-over deadline at the end of the […]

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