JUNEAU -

As the days get longer, the legislative session in Juneau is getting shorter -- and with just 30 days left, plenty remains on lawmakers’ to-do lists.

"First and foremost we have to finish the operating budget, because that is our constitutional obligation,” said House Majority Leader Rep. Lance Pruitt (R-Anchorage). “Of course, it is in the Senate, but there is going to be changes -- we're going to negotiate those out.”

Legislation establishing an agreement for a proposed natural gas pipeline and Gov. Sean Parnell’s education bill are also on the agenda. The latter would increase the annual base student allocation, paid by the state to school districts for the education of each student, and abolish the high-school exit exam.

“Four weeks in legislative time is actually a lot of time,” Pruitt said. “As we get a little closer here the ‘24 Rule’ comes in place.”

That rule allows committees to schedule a hearing for a bill on just a day's notice.

Pruitt says the House should have enough time to vet the gas line bill, which is already in the Resource Committee. Not everyone thinks that will be enough time.

"We have a lot of questions still to be answered on the gas pipeline, on what we want to see going into negotiations,” said House Minority Leader Rep. Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) “There are a lot of ideas floating around, there are experts we have yet to hear from."

Some 212 bills have been introduced in the Senate since the 28th Legislature’s session began Jan. 15, 2013. Of those, 31 have passed out of both chambers.

The House rolled out 374 bills during that time frame, with 47 passing the House and Senate.  

“The number of bills that we passed this year should be a lot more,” Tuck said. “We've allowed us to get distracted on things, on rabbit trails.  We need to do what the people want.”

The session is scheduled to end on April 20, Easter Sunday. Pruitt says if lawmakers accomplish everything they need to in that time, they will adjourn the Thursday or Friday beforehand.