LOC News

2021 Session Begins Soon - 3,200 Bills?

By Jim McCauley, LOC Legislative Director

I’m guessing that a pandemic impacting our daily lives since March has led to a lot of free time to think about legislation for 2021, because we are facing a 2021 session with 3,200 pre-session filed bills.   

If that seems like a big number, it is.  By comparison the 2019 session had a little more than 2,700 bills in the mix, and far fewer pre-session filings. 

This pre-session legislative volume will further challenge the Legislature to prioritize which issues to pursue given the limitations of a session that will likely be mostly virtual.

What’s more important to consider is the process the legislative leadership plans to use when determining whether a bill receives a hearing, knowing full well they will have significant time constraints and limited ability to engage the public.  From the perspective of LOC’s government relations team, we are hopeful they focus on legislation that was in the queue in 2019 and 2020, but stalled due to walkouts.  At least under this approach, some deliberation would have already taken place on many policies. 

We are also hopeful the Legislature’s focus will remain on COVID-19 public health emergency and economic crisis as well as a response to the late-season wildfires.  The LOC will, of course, focus on our seven priorities, but we will also be very vigilant and doing our best to protect local control over decision making and protect revenue streams cities depend on.

As you have heard me say or read in the past, your advocacy and support as city leaders for the LOC’s legislative efforts is critical.  This session your relationships with legislators will be exceptionally important.  Stay tuned for our reports, stay in contact with legislators, and when called on to help, please take the time to make a call or send an email.

Contact: Jim McCauley, Legislative Director - jmccauley@orcities.org

Last Updated 1/8/21