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How a Bill Becomes A Law
Transcript of How a Bill Becomes A Law
The Bill is Proposed
Laws begin as ideas. These ideas may come from a Representative—or from a citizen like you. Citizens who have ideas for laws can contact their Representatives to discuss their ideas. If the Representatives agree, they research the ideas and write them into bills.
When a Representative has written a bill, the bill needs a sponsor. The Representative talks with other Representatives about the bill in hopes of getting their support for it. Once a bill has a sponsor and the support of some of the Representatives, it is ready to be introduced.
A Bill Goes to Committee
When a bill is introduced in the House of Representatives, a bill clerk assigns it a number and a reading clerk then reads the bill to all the Representatives, and the Speaker of the House sends the bill to one of the House standing committees.
When the bill reaches committee, the committee members—groups of Representatives who are experts on topics such as agriculture, education, or transportation—review, research, and revise the bill before voting on whether or not to send the bill back to the House floor.
The Bill is Debated
When the committee has approved a bill, it is sent—or reported—to the House floor. Once reported, a bill is ready to be debated by the House of Representatives. When a bill is debated, Representatives discuss the bill and explain why they agree or disagree with it. Then it is time to vote:
If a majority of the Representatives say or select yes, the bill passes in the House of Representatives. The bill is then delivered to the Senate.
When a bill reaches the Senate, it goes through many of the same steps it went through in the House of Representatives. The bill is discussed in a Senate committee and then reported to the Senate floor to be voted on.
If a majority of the Senators say “yea,” the bill passes and is ready to go to the Governor.
The Bill is Law
If a bill has passed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate and has been approved by the Governor, or if a Governor's veto has been overridden, the bill becomes a law and is enforced by the government.
A Bill's Journey
Creating laws is the N.H.'s House of Representatives’ most important job. All laws in New Hampshire begin as bills. Before a bill can become a law, it must be approved by the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Governor. Let’s follow a bill’s journey to become law.
When a bill reaches the Governor, he/she can:
Sign and pass the bill—the bill becomes a law.
Refuse to sign, or
, the bill—the bill is sent back to the House of Representatives, along with the Governor's reasons for the veto. If the House of Representatives and the Senate still believe the bill should become a law, they can hold another vote on the bill. If two-thirds of the Representatives and Senators support the bill, the Governor’s veto is overridden and the bill becomes a law.
The Bill is sent to the Governor