When the Senate secretary reads the roll for a vote, typically if you are listening in on line or through the television, you will hear a long stream of Ayes. The controversial stuff is killed in committee, never introduced or stuck in a drawer. What gets to the floor, has jumped through a lot of hoops, made it by many gate keepers and has enough of a force behind it to be considered by the whole body.
When a Democrat brings a bill to committee, there is a bit of a disadvantage. We have possibly not had much of a chance to chat with the committee chair about the bill at functions over the summer. We may have co-sponsors but this year we can not longer list them prominently so that anyone would know anyone but one of us is supportive. We may be asked to get an attorney general's opinion or feedback from Governor appointed department heads.
We rely on the kindness and respect of our colleagues to be allowed to have a bill printed, to get a hearing on the bill or to have it sent once printed to the committee where it is supposed to go. Lots of things can happen to a bill. It can indeed be sent to hostile committee, on purpose or inadvertently.
I had a bill that simply makes it an employer's, not an insurer's decision to allow a business' employees to buy health insurance for their unmarried partners, boy friends of girlfriends and other family members if they are not married. The bill is a benefit to the state because it increases the number of people and their children with access to insurance. This improves preventative care, reduces emergency costs, catastrophic fund costs and other taxpayer funded health care costs.
The bill went to State Affairs Committee, not Commerce where insurance related legislation usually goes.