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HomeLegislative Process

Proposing and passing a bill in the state legislature can seem like a complicated process. Here's a brief overview of the process.

Step 1 

Proposed Bill 

Step 2

Bill is sent to the clerk of the
House of the sponsoring
legislator for numbering.

Step 3

Bill title, number and sponsors
are printed in the House and
Senate Journals.

Step 4 

Bill is sent to the appropriate joint standing committee of the
General Assembly, depending
on the bill's subject matter.

Step 5

Committee may:
1) have the bill drafted in legal      
2) combine it with other bills
    and have it drafted as a
    committee bill;
3) refer the bill to another
4) take no action so the bill fails.
The committee may also write a
new "raised" bill.

Step 6

Committee holds public
hearings for the public,
state agency representatives and legislators on all bills it wishes
to consider.

Step 7    

Committee may report the bill
favorably, defeat the bill or issue
no report (bill fails).    

 Step 8

Bill requiring action by another
committee is referred to that
committee. For example, a bill
requiring expenditures is referred
to the Appropriations Committee.

 Step 9


After leaving the last committee,
the bill is sent to the Legislative
Commissioners' Office to be
checked for constitutionality and consistency with other law.

 Step 10

The Office of Fiscal Analysis adds
an estimate of the bill's cost. 
The Office of Legislative Research
adds a 'plain English' explanation
of the bill.

 Step 11

Clerk assigns the bill a calender

 Step 12

Final Printing of the bill

 Step 13

Debate and amendments in the
house of origin. House may send
the bill to another committee
before voting.

 Step 14

Vote on bill.

 Step 15

A 'yes' vote sends the bill to the
other house for placement on
their calendar.

 Step 16

Other house votes on the bill.

 Step 17

If amended by second house,  
bill is returned to first house for concurrence.
If House and Senate cannot agree, the bill is sent to a joint conference committee.
If not amended, bill is sent to the

 Step 18

If the conference committee reaches
an agreement
, a report is sent to
both houses.

 Step 19

If one or both houses reject the
, the bill fails.

Step 20tep 20

If both houses pass the bill,
it is sent to the governor.
The Governor can:
   1) sign the bill
   2) veto it, or
   3) take no action

 Step 21

 the Governor vetoes, the bill is returned to the house in which it 

 Step 22

Vetoed bills can be reconsidered
by both houses.

 Step 23

The bill becomes law if:

1) The Governor signs it,
2) The Governor fails to sign within
     5 days during the legislative
     session, or 15 days after
3) The vetoed bill is re-passed by
     a 2/3 vote of the elected