Ideas for bills often come from lawmakers and members of the general public. Members of the general public make requests to their constituential representatives.
The bill is sent to the clerk of the House of the sponsoring legislator for numbering. Bill title, number and sponsors are printed in the House and Senate Journals
The bill is then sent to the appropriate joint standing committee of the General Assembly, depending on the bill's subject matter. The committee may 1) have the bill drafted in legal language; 2) combine it with other bills and have it drafted as a committee bill; 3) refer the bill to another committee; or 4) take no action, so the bill fails. The committee may also write a new "raised" committee bill.
The committee holds public hearings for the public, state agency representatives and legislators on all bills it wishes to consider. The committee may then report the bill favorably, defeat the bill or issue no report. Bills requiring action by another committee are referred to that specific committee, e.g. a bill requiring expenditure is referred to the Appropriations Committee.
After leaving the last committee, the bill is sent to the Legislative Commissioners' Office to be checked for constitutionality and consistency with other laws.
This office adds an estimate of the bill's cost and fiscal impact on the community. The Office of Legislative Research then adds a "plain English" explanation of the bill.
The clerk assigns the bill a calendar number and it then goes off for final printing.
Lawmakers debate and draft amendments in the house of origin. The house may send the bill to another committee before voting. A "yes" vote sends the bill to the other house for placement on the voting calendar. The bill is then returned to the first house for concurrence if amended by the second house.
If not amended, the bill is sent to the governor. If The House and Senate cannot agree, the bill is sent to a joint conference committee. If the conference committee reaches an agreement, a report is sent to both houses. If one or both houses reject the changes, the bill fails. If both houses pass the bill, it is sent to the governor. The governor can: 1.) sign the bill; 2.) veto the bill, or; 3.) take no action.
If the governor vetoes, the bill is returned to the house in which it originated. Vetoed bills can be reconsidered by both houses. The bill becomes law if: 1.) the governor signs it; 2.) the governor fails to sign it within 5 days during legislative session or 15 days after adjournment from the day it was presented to him; 3.) the vetoed bill is repassed in each house by a 2/3 vote of the elected membership.