This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A flood of bill requests is burdening legislative attorneys and creating a backlog in getting measures drafted and moved through the process.
Through last Friday, lawmakers had made 1,174 bill requests, the second most in history.
Scores of committee meetings were scrapped in the first two weeks of the session as bills were still being drafted and frustrated lawmakers frequently complained about the pace of the work. As of Friday, work hadn't even begun on 369 requested bills, but 282 others had been abandoned or put on hold.
"[Legislative lawyers] are putting these bills out as fast as they can," House Majority Leader Brad Dee, R-Ogden, told the GOP caucus Tuesday.
Dee said some legislators have asked to have 25 or more bills drafted.
In the meantime, Dee said he's still waiting to receive his first priority bill.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, said there are many new legislators this session, meaning their requests came in later than usual. Also, he said, members seem to be proposing more legislation this year. Finally, he said that the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel has suffered cuts like the rest of state government down two researchers and two analysts creating a bigger workload.
"It's going to create a little bit of a logjam at the end, and we're concerned about it," Jenkins said.
House Speaker Becky Lockhart said she expects things to break loose as the session advances.
"The floodgates are going to open and all the bills are going to start tumbling out, and you'll find that we have very, very large agendas in meetings that last many, many hours," she said.