With only two weeks left for bills in the House and Senate to become law before this years session ends, some lawmakers are scrambling to see their legislation through.
With more than 1,000 bills introduced every session, and only about 100 passing, its common to end a session with almost a thousand failing.
Some lawmakers say the lack of time doesnt deter them from trying to speed up their efforts; it makes business more hectic.
State House Rep. Lynne Martinez, D-Lansing, is the sponsor of two bills that would make organ donating easier. Neither bill has come to a vote in the House.
Its going to be a very rough week, said Martinez, laughing. I have these bills to let people make their own choices on organ donation.
Thats what Ill be working on the last few weeks.
The bills would legally authorize individuals to make an anatomical gift for another or designate patient advocates.
Martinez said legislators are used to being on a tight schedule and rewriting legislation if their bills arent passed by the end of session.
Its not a problem. Its the schedule that everyones used to, she said.
Martinez said other legislation to be discussed by the House and Senate this week addresses some important issues.
There are three bills about abortion, she said. One says insurance cant cover abortion without a special rider that will cost more.
John Truscott, spokesman for Gov. John Engler, said his office isnt quite as busy as some legislators because Engler completed the majority of his agenda in the spring.
There arent any major issues on our agenda, Truscott said. As people try to set up their causes, it gets crazy and we try to watch for surprises.
Because we dont have any major issue priorities, were in really good shape from our perspective. We feel like we can walk away from issues if theyre new.
Lobbyists for MSU dont have much to worry about for the remainder of this session either.
As far as MSU is directly concerned, no bills are pending on the state level that would affect the university, said Steve Webster, MSU vice president for governmental affairs.
Right now he is focusing his attention on the 2001 session to begin in January.
It begins the appropriations process, so well focus on that, Webster said.
Some political analysts dont think its so easy to predict what bills will pass.
This is not a process thats genuine, said Mark Grebner, an analyst for East Lansings Practical Political Consulting. Its one big sewage pit. You can count the bubbles, but you dont really know whats coming up.
Grebner said counting the number of bills introduced during one legislative session is nearly impossible.
How you learned a bill becomes a law in textbooks isnt really how it happens anymore, Grebner said. Everything is bought and sold.
There are some specific things the leaders - lobbyists and Engler - want to move and based on that and whos on their way out, bills will pass.
Grebner said the last few weeks of session are often the easiest time to stall legislation.
Its so easy to run out the clock, Grebner said. Everyones cleaning out their desks, done with campaigns for now.
Its kind of like the senior skip day in high school that turned into skip week, only you have to show up to vote and get the last things through.