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Are bill limits in lawmakers' future?

Speaker of the House Tina Kotek suggested last week that it might be time for reconsider bill limits.

Speaker Tina KotekIt's been a busy session.

Speaker of the House Tina Kotek suggested last week that it might be time for reconsider bill limits.

"Well from an inside perspective, I really want to come back to the conversation of bill limits, so people can manage their workflow a little differently," Kotek told reporters last week, after OPB reporter Lauren Dake asked Kotek how she would characterize the session so far. "We haven't done that, and I think we're going to need to. And that's not a ding on any Republican or Democrat, I think people just have introduced a lot of bills and it's been very difficult to manage them all."

Kotek said that lawmakers are collaborating and amending bills — which she says is a good thing, but also adds to the workload.

"One of our challenges right now is a lot of bills are having trouble because they want amendments and can't get them out of legislative counsel fast enough," Kotek said.

Kotek said bills were being sent to the Rules committee, which doesn't have to adhere to the earlier session deadlines, to wait for amendments.

House and Senate members can request as many bills as they want before the odd-year long session starts. They have until the Friday after the pre-session organizational day in January to ask for those bills.

After that date, they are allowed to introduce just five more bills — known as "priority bills" — before the end of session.

In 2015 and 2017, Legislative Counsel received about 4,000 concepts to draft as legislation. Of those, about 2,800 got a first reading in each year.