Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) said Thursday the number of bills filed this year has been drastically reduced due to a legislative reform package implemented last year designed to streamline operations and make the legislative process more efficient. With the bill filing deadline having passed Wednesday, records show a 36% decrease in legislation.
“This is excellent news, and proof the bill limit is working,” said Speaker Harwell. “Our goal was to reduce the amount of bills filed to save taxpayer money, and to have members focus on prioritizing their issues so we can properly vet the legislation before us. I strongly believe good government is not defined by making more laws, and this reduction in legislation bodes well for Tennessee taxpayers.”
Bill filings this year came in at 2,497 and are at the lowest in nearly 30 years. In 1986, the 94th General Assembly, there were 2,077 pieces of legislation filed by the deadline. Filed legislation in 105th General Assembly hit one the highest marks, with 4,274 proposals filed. This year’s number is 42% below that high mark. The bill filing deadline is on the 10th legislative day according to House rules, usually falling in February.
“Each time legislation is filed, there is an enormous amount of work done by staff behind the scenes. The bill must be researched and written by legal staff, sometimes going through multiple drafts. Our House Clerks then work to put the bill into the system, and all of this cost taxpayers time and money,” said House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada (R-Franklin). “This bill limit ensures a more efficient, effective and accessible government that will give us more time for thoughtful, deliberate analysis on each piece of legislation—something taxpayers expect and deserve,” he concluded.