During the last session of the legislature, very few bills affecting workers' compensation were passed. That is probably a good thing, as many of the bills which were introduced would have been harmful to injured workers.
Since the legislative session has just ended, we thought it might be interesting to describe the process by which a Bill becomes a law...
- A Bill is introduced in either the Senate or the House of Representatives by a member.
- The Bill is referred to a committee for a hearing. The committee studies the Bill and may hold public hearings on it. The committee can then pass, reject or take no action on the Bill.
- If the committee passes a Bill, it reports the Bill to the House or Senate, and then the Bill is referred to the Rules Committee.
- The Rules Committee can either place the Bill on the second reading calendar before the House or Senate or take no action. If it reaches second reading, the Bill is subject to debate and amendment before it is placed on the third reading calendar where final passage takes place.
- After a Bill passes either the House or the Senate, it goes to the opposite body. If amendments are made in the other body, then the Bill is referred back to the House or Senate to see if they will agree to the changes.
- If agreement cannot be reached, a Conference Committee of members of both the House and Senate may by appointed to see if they can agree on an acceptable Bill.
- If the Bill is accepted and passed by both the House and the Senate, it is signed by the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate and sent to the Governor.
- The Governor then either signs the Bill into law or may veto all or part of it.
- If the Governor takes no action, it may still become law without his or her signature.
Wayne L. Williams
Williams, Wyckoff & Ostrander, PLLC