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HOW A BILL BECOMES LAW

The idea behind legislation may come from a constituent, the students in a public school class, a state agency or lobbyists among others. If a legislator agrees to propose and sponsor the legislation, he/she will then take the general draft of the proposed legislation to the Legislative Counsel of the General Assembly where a lawyer will be assigned to write the legislation per the format guidelines of the General Assembly.

 

Once dropped into the hopper of the legislator's respective chamber, the legislation is read for the first time by the Clerk of that legislative body. It is read for a second time the next legislative day, after which action can be taken in the committee to which the legislation is assigned. It is not automatic that the legislation will be heard and/or acted upon in committee. The bill sponsor must request a hearing, after which the legislation might be heard in a sub-committee, in which it will be vetted and possibly amended. If the subcommittee approves the legislation with a do-pass recommendation to the full committee, it will be vetted again and possibly amended further. If the bill is approved by the full committee, the sponsor must then ask the Rules Committee to place it on the calendar to be considered by the full body of the respective chamber. It is not easy to get a bill through the Rules Committee. If then, the bill is approved by the Rules Committee, the legislator may take the legislation to the floor for consideration by the entire body.

 

If then, the legislation is approved by that body, it may be taken to the other chamber where the same vetting process begins again. If approved by both chambers, the legislation will be reviewed carefully by the Governor, another vetting process and may or may not be approved by the Governor to become law.

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Email: repdon@donparsons.org
Capitol Office: 404-656-9198
District Office: 770-977-4426
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