Byron Todd A bill is a draft of a proposed law that is presented for approval to the House of Representatives. Suppose a that a bill is proposed that would make community colleges have free tuition. Because there are so many proposed bills, the house is divided into committees that research and debate the bill. When the bill is first introduced the speaker of the house would delegate it to a committee. Once the speaker delegates it, if he chooses to do so, the committee chair decides weather he wants to schedule the bill for debate. If it is not scheduled, the bill will never be heard and will therefore never become a law. The bill will most likely be open for public meeting where the author explains it and the committee hears testimonies for or against the bill, perhaps by community college officials. However, often a bill is given to a subcommittee where the public hearings are just short huddles around a desk that decide what to report to the full committee. There is often back room deals that take place at this stage where representatives “back scratch” in order to get a bill approved by the committee. This is where one representatives makes a deal with another where he will approve legislation in return for a favor in the future. The representative that requested the other to vote in his favor is said to be carrying water at this point.
If the committee rejects the bill then it can be revived by a minority report by a motion from a majority vote. If the bill is approved by the committee it is printed with the committee report and gets passed to the House Calender Committee where it is given a date when to be heard. When the bill gets to the house floor, there is a role call to see weather the minimum number of the member are present, called a quorum. After the Housekeeping duties more bills are given their first reading and delegated to committees. Then the second reading of our bill occurs where it is debated. Once the second reading occurs it is passed to the third reading where it is approved by the house of representatives and becomes an engrossed bill.
Once the bill is an engrossed bill it is passed to the senate and is refereed to a