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As legislative staffs and lawmakers at the state level gear up for the 2017-18 biennium legislative sessions, at least 36 states will be accepting pre-filed 2017 bills by the end of the 2016. Illinois had not formally set its pre-filing period by mid-September.

Already in 2017 Pre-filing Mode

The pre-filing period for 2017 legislative sessions in 11 states has already begun: North Dakota (Jan. 1), Alabama (May 12), Nevada (May 29), Kentucky (June 15), Virginia (July 18), Colorado (Aug. 1), Florida (Aug. 1), Iowa (Sept. 1), Montana (Sept. 8) and New Hampshire (Sept. 12). Oregon’s pre-filing period begins Sept. 26.

November, December 2017 Pre-filing Periods

November and December are the busiest months for pre-filing bills with 24 states accepting proposals in the last two months of 2016 in advance of 2017 legislative sessions.

* November Pre-filing: The pre-filing period for 15 states begins in November: Mississippi (Nov. 1), Vermont (Nov. 1), Kansas (Nov. 8), New Jersey (Nov. 8), Connecticut (Nov. 9), Tennessee (Nov. 9), Texas (Nov. 9), Arizona (Nov. 14), Arkansas (Nov. 14), Georgia (Nov. 15), Maryland (Nov. 15), New York (Nov. 15), Oklahoma (Nov. 15), Rhode Island (Nov. 15) and Utah (Nov. 15)

* December Pre-filing: Nine states open their 2017 legislative pre-filing period in December: Missouri (Dec. 1), South Carolina (Dec. 1), Washington (Dec. 1), Wyoming (Dec. 1), Maine (Dec. 7), Indiana (Dec. 10), South Dakota (Dec. 11), West Virginia (Dec. 15) and New Mexico (Dec. 15).

* 2017 Pre-filing: Alaska (Jan. 6) and Louisiana (Feb. 25)

Six states — California, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin — do not permit pre-filing bills. In these states, all proposals are submitted only when the legislature convenes.

Six states — Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, — do not permit pre-filing bills, or strictly limit it, before the first year of an biennium session.

[Related: Find out how you can use pre-filing to your advantage.

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