While it might sound like a dance move or tennis technique, it’s actually defined as “a point or place of crossing from one side to the other.” In the North Carolina General Assembly, “crossover” refers to an important date that followers of legislative action should be aware of.
This year, the crossover deadline in the North Carolina House of Representatives is Thursday, May 16th. This is the date by which a bill must pass either the House or the Senate in order to remain eligible for consideration in the remainder of the session. The bills that do not pass one chamber or the other by this date are effectively dead for the session.
However, if a bill fails to make the deadline, readers should know that the idea contained in the bill is not necessarily dead. The deadline impacts the specific bill number associated with the idea. The idea itself could possibly be included in another bill that has already passed one chamber, or it could be added to a different but related bill later in the session.
Once crossover occurs, the North Carolina General Assembly non-partisan central staff publishes a list of bills that remain eligible in the session. That list will be available on the legislative website at www.ncleg.net after the deadline passes.
The historical purpose behind the crossover date seems to be in limiting the overall length of the session. In North Carolina, a specific date for session adjournment is not set by the body. However, service in the legislature is meant to be a part-time position for the elected members and establishing a crossover deadline can be viewed as helpful in reducing the overall length of the session — and allows members to return to their full time professions and family responsibilities in a reasonable amount of time.
The crossover deadline for this biennium was adopted by a bi-partisan super majority vote very early in the session.