Understanding the Legislative Processwacivilrights2020-04-11T21:20:31-07:00
How a Bill Becomes a Law
For more information, see Legislative Process Overview, Reed’s Parliamentary Rules, and Civic Education Page.
- A bill may be introduced in either the Senate or House of Representatives by a member.
- It is referred to a committee for a hearing. The committee studies the bill and may hold public hearings on it. It can then pass, reject, or take no action on the bill.
- The committee report on the passed bill is read in open session of the House or Senate, and the bill is then referred to the Rules Committee.
- The Rules Committee can either place the bill on the second reading calendar for debate before the entire body, or take no action.
- At the second reading, a bill is subject to debate and amendment before being placed on the third reading calendar for final passage.
- After passing one house, the bill goes through the same procedure in the other house.
- If amendments are made in the other house, the first house must approve the changes.
- When the bill is accepted in both houses, it is signed by the respective leaders and sent to the governor.
- The governor signs the bill into law or may veto all or part of it. If the governor fails to act on the bill, it may become law without a signature.