How A Bill Becomes A Law

This year we’re in a general session, in order for a bill to become a law it must pass through the following steps-

  1. Bill is drafted, filed by a legislator, and assigned a bill number. You can find a list of all bills here- http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/billreference/BillReference.aspx?type=ALL

  2. Bill is assigned by the Speaker of the House or Senate President to be heard by a committee. You can find a list of all committees here- http://legisweb.state.wy.us/LegislatorSummary/IntCommList.aspx

  3. Bill is heard in committee. THIS IS THE POINT WHERE PUBLIC TESTIMONY IS MOST IMPORTANT. You can find a schedule of committee meetings here- http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2017/Calendar/CalendarMenu/CommitteeMenu.aspx

  4. A bill must receive the majority of votes in committee to be heard on the floor in what is referred to as “committee of the whole”. If it does not, the bill is dead.

  5. Bill is heard during committee of the whole and must receive the majority of the votes to make it to second reading. If it does not, the bill is dead.

  6. Bill is heard during second reading and must receive the majority of the votes to make it to third reading. If it does not, the bill is dead.

  7. Bill moves to the opposite chamber (if it started in the House it moves to the Senate and if it started in the Senate it moves to the House).

  8. Bill is assigned by the Speaker of the House or Senate President to be heard by a committee. See committee list above.

  9. Repeat steps 3-7.

  10. If the Senate version of the bill and the House version of the bill are not identical (if one side has passed an amendment and the other side has not) the bill is sent to a conference committee.

  11. Senate President and Speaker of the House assign members from each chamber to participate in a conference committee to discuss the bill and make a compromise.

  12. Once a compromise has been met, both the House and the Senate must vote on the new version of the bill.

  13. If both the House and the Senate have now agreed on the same version of the bill it advances to the Governor’s office.

  14. The Governor signs the bill.

  15. The bill is now law.

Courtesy of the Equality State Policy Center