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Law Making: How a Bill Becomes a Law


A. Conceived by individual legislator
B. Conceived by Study Committee, Ad Hoc Committee, Interim Committee
C. Conceived by citizen or citizens' group
D. Conceived by special interest group or lobby



A. Drafted by any of above mentioned groups or individuals utilizing private legal resources
B. Drafted by legislative counsel on behalf of individual legislator, legislative committee, or subcommittee
C. Copied after legislation in other states



A. Filed with Clerk of House of Representatives
B. Read for first time (by title) to entire House by Clerk (assigned to committee by Speaker)
C. Read second time automatically on next legislative day


Committee Action

A. Chairman sets date for action on bill, notifies interested parties
B. Interested persons testify, for and against
C. Committee votes with several options available

1. Recommend "do pass” for bill in original form
2. Recommend "do pass” for bill with committee amendment
3. Recommend "do pass” for bill as substituted by committee
4. Recommend "do not pass” for bill either in original form or in amended or substituted form
5. Pass bill with no recommendation
6. Hold bill / no action


Bill (if given "do pass” recommendation) Returned To House

A. Placed on calendar
B. Called by Speaker for third reading and vote
C. Bill debated on floor / Bill may be amended or substituted on floor by majority vote
D. Bill passed or defeated by majority vote (2/3 vote required for tax measure or constitutional amendment resolution)


To The Senate

Bills that pass the House, in whatever form, are transmitted to the Senate where a similar process takes place


Return To House

Senate amendments require House approval

If House concurs with Senate amendment in its entirety, measure is passed and sent to the Governor

If House disagrees with the Senate amendment or changes any other language, bill is assigned to conference committee composed of three house and three senate members

Conference committee may rewrite entire bill or resolve differences on conflicting language

Conference committee report read in House and Senate which accepts or rejects the report

If accepted the bill is passed

If either chamber rejects the conference report, the measure is assigned to new conference committee or allowed to die


Bill Goes To Governor

A. Governor may sign the bill into law
B. May veto the bill
C. Bills not acted on will automatically become law (has 6 days during session and 40 days after session)


Veto Override

 General Assembly may override a veto by 2/3 vote and measure becomes law.


For more information on the legislative process, visit


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Atlanta, GA., 30329-2655


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