|1. Bill Drafted: When a
lawmaker has an idea for a bill often at the suggestion of a constituent
he or she passes the information on to the Legislative Reference
Bureau to be written in proper technical form.
|2. Bill Introduced: Every
bill must be read in front of the legislative body on three separate
occasions before it can be passed. When the bill is first filed with
the Clerk, it is assigned a bill number and read before the body for
the first time.
|3. Referred to Committee:
The Rules Committee, made up of 3 members from the majority party
and 2 from the minority, refers the bill to the appropriate committee
|4. Committee Hearing: The
bill's sponsor explains the legislation to committee members, who
can then ask questions. Lobbyists, representatives of concerned groups
and members of the public can voice support or opposition. Only if
a majority of the committee votes in favor of the bill, is it considered
before the entire chamber.
|5. Second Reading: The
bill is read for a second time before the full legislative body. Changes,
or "amendments", can still be proposed at this stage.
|6. Third Reading: The bill
is read for a third and final time before the full chamber. After
the sponsor explains the bill, members of the chamber can ask questions.
When debate is completed, the chamber votes on the bill. A simple
majority is needed 60 in the House, 30 in the Senate for the bill
to pass. Bills that are approved on Third Reading move over to the
other chamber where they go through the same process.
|7. Second Chamber: If the
second chamber approves the bill as it is written, it is sent directly
to the Governor. If a bill is amended in the second chamber and then
passed, it must return to the chamber in which it originated so the
members can vote to "concur", or agree with the change. If the vote
to concur is successful, the bill is sent to the Governor.
|8. Governoršs Action: The
Governor may sign the bill into law, veto it with recommendations
for changes, or veto it absolutely.
|9. New Law: The bill becomes
law when the Governor signs it. If a bill is vetoed, it can become
law if both chambers of the General Assembly vote by two-third majorities
to override the Governoršs veto.