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March 4, 2024
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How an Idea Becomes a Law

Either house may originate any type of legislation, however the processes differ slightly between houses.

A legislator sponsors a bill, which is referred to one or more committees related to the bill's subject. The committee studies the bill and decides if it should be amended, pass, or fail. If passed, the bill moves to other committees of reference or to the full house. The full house then votes on the bill.

If it passes in one house, it is sent to the other house for review. A bill goes through the same process in the second house as it did in the first. A bill can go back and forth between houses until a consensus is reached. Of course, the measure could fail at any point in the process.

Follow a bill through the process:

*Bill originating in the Senate (PDF)
*Bill originating in the House (PDF)
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