Special Session

A special session, also known as an extraordinary session, may be called to address issues that are unresolved during regular legislative sessions, which can run only from the first Monday in February through the last Friday in May of the year.  When the Governor calls a special session, it is restricted only to those matters the governor specifies in calling the special session; however, the Governor may amend the call during special session. As the result of passage of SQ 540 in 1980, the Legislature can also call itself into special session by gaining the signatures of two-thirds of the members of both chambers. The Legislature may not prevent the calling of a special session by the governor; however, it is not obliged to take action on the issues it has been asked to address.

There is no constitutional limit on the length of special sessions. However, a special session called during one Legislature cannot extend past the swearing in of the next Legislature. Regular and special sessions can run concurrently.

There were two special sessions called in 2017 to address a budget shortfall triggered by the Supreme Court striking down a proposed smoking cessation fee as a tax.  The second session extended into 2018 and ran concurrently with the 2018 regular legislative session.