Deadlines are very important throughout the legislative process. Although you will learn more about committee bills and raised bills in the next chapter, the
illuminate the timeline for legislative action. Deadlines are dictated by the Joint Rules.
In order for a legislator to put your good idea in writing, she or he has to request that it be drafted in bill form. (Although they pay close attention to a bill's language, legislators aren't the ones who write out the exact wording of the bills - this is done by the Legislative Commissioners' Office - LCO.) Legislators submit their bills to the clerk's office or directly request drafting from the LCO. The deadline for this first step depends if it's a long or short session:
2 weeks after the start of a long session
1 week after the start of short session
There are deadlines for requesting the drafting of committee bills:
4 weeks after the start of a long session
2 weeks after the start of a short session
There are also deadlines for requesting the drafting of raised bills:
8 weeks for a long session
4 weeks for a short session
A Representative or Senator requesting that a bill be drafted is called the bill's sponsor. There can be one or many sponsors of a bill. depending on how much support there is for it to pass.