Legislative Vocabulary

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Amendment

A change or addition to legislation.

Bill

A written proposal for addition, modification, or repeal of statute law. “S.B.” denotes “Senate Bill” and “H.B.” denotes “House Bill.”

Committee

A committee is a group of representatives or senators that revolve around a specific issue. Committees report on introduced bills and can reach several decisions regarding the status of the bill. If the committee decides to not discuss the bill or gives an unfavorable report, the bill will fail to move forward. The general public is almost always welcome to offer comment during committee meetings.

Committee Sub

A change or addition to legislation in committee.

Crossover Day

Assigned day during session (traditionally the 28th or 30th day) where legislation must pass at least one Chamber in order to stay viable for passage.

Floor Vote – First Chamber

Once a bill passes through the Rules Committee, it goes to the floor, where debate will be held on the measure. Amendments can be offered and debated as well. The presiding officer will then call the question, meaning a vote will be held. If a bill receives a majority of the vote (or 2/3 for a resolution), then it has found passage and will move forward. If it does not pass, it can be sent back to committee for changes.

Introduction of a Bill

A bill may be introduced by any member in the House or Senate. On the day after it is filed, it will have its first reading on the floor of either Chamber, depending on where it was introduced. It is given a number and the presiding office (Speaker of the House or Lt. Governor) will assign it to a committee for discussion.

Resolution

A written proposal for addition, modification, or repeal of statute law. “S.B.” denotes “Senate Bill” and “H.B.” denotes “House Bill.”

Rules Committee

If a committee reports favorably on a bill, it is sent to the Rules Committee. This committee can recommit a measure, meaning it can debate and amend a bill. The Rules Committee can also place a bill under Orders of the Day. The Orders of the Day is a list of bills and resolutions that are ready for the House or Senate to be debated and/or adopted on a specific date.

Restart the Process

After passage in either the House or the Senate, a bill will re-start the process in the other Chamber. A bill can fail at any step in either Chamber.

Re-Vote on Changes

If the bill passes on both sides, but the second Chamber has made changes to the language of the bill, it must go back to the original Chamber to vote on the new text of the bill. If the two Chambers cannot agree on the new text, a conference committee will be held on the bill.

Sine Die

Pronounced “sign-E-die”. Adjournment; end of session