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Bill Basics: What is a Bill and How Does it Become Law? Marie Sullivan, Director of Governmental Relations NOVEMBER 21, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Bill Basics: What is a Bill and How Does it Become Law? Marie Sullivan, Director of Governmental Relations NOVEMBER 21, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bill Basics: What is a Bill and How Does it Become Law? Marie Sullivan, Director of Governmental Relations NOVEMBER 21, 2013

2 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION Purpose of a Bill Creates, amends or deletes a law State laws are recorded as “statutes” in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Only the state legislature can change an RCW –And only during session or a special session called by the Governor

3 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION Introduction of a Bill Bills are only introduced by legislators The type of bill – HB or SB – is considered the House of Origin Identical bills are called “companion” bills

4 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION Other Kinds of Legislation Joint memorials – jokingly called “letters to Santa Claus” –Directed at President, Congress, etc. Joint resolutions –amendments to the State Constitution –must be approved by Washington voters Concurrent resolutions –usually legislative business e.g., setting cutoff dates, rules

5 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION Bill Process Introduced by a legislator –First reading is on the floor, typically title only Other legislators may sign on in support Bill is assigned to a policy committee or – if strictly a money-related bill – to a fiscal committee

6 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION First Hurdle: The Hearing A bill may be given a hearing at the discretion of the committee chair People testify in support or opposition of the bill or with concerns Courtesy hearings

7 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION Second Hurdle: Vote in Committee Bill may be modified by an amendment or striking amendment A vote will be taken and recorded, and the bill moved forward “Subject to signature” requirements

8 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION Third Hurdle: Fiscal or Rules Committees Fiscal committee – same hearing process Testimony is typically only on fiscal issues If substantial modifications, it could become a 2nd substitute When passes the fiscal committee – the bill is sent to Rules If no fiscal impact, bill is sent to Rules

9 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION Third Hurdle (cont.): Rules Committee Led by the Speaker of the House or the Lieutenant Governor Members “pull” bills –White Sheet to the Green Sheet –Green Sheet to the Floor If Rules committee votes to move forward, it goes to the Floor Calendar “Package Pull”

10 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION Fourth Hurdle: Scheduled for a Vote on the Floor Leadership and/or committee chairs discuss bills Caucus presentations and discussions “Working the doors”

11 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION Fifth Hurdle: House of Origin Vote Sponsor of the bill prepares talking points and speaks in support of the bill on the floor Any Legislator in the House of Origin may offer amendments to the bill If amended on the floor, it becomes an “engrossed” bill

12 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION Fifth Hurdle (cont): Cutoff Dates During this entire process, there are “cutoff dates” – dates by which a bill must have been moved forward to remain in consideration during the session

13 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION Sixth Hurdle: Bill Introduced in Other “Chamber” Bill is assigned to a policy or fiscal committee The entire process begins anew Cutoff dates apply with a more compressed schedule

14 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION Seventh Hurdle: Hearing and Vote in Opposite Chamber The bill must receive a hearing and be passed by a policy committee or fiscal committee - or both - if it has both a policy and fiscal impact Committee chairs negotiate bills, discuss amendments

15 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION Opposite Chamber Hurdles Eighth Hurdle: Rules committee Ninth Hurdle: Getting scheduled for a full vote Tenth Hurdle: Voting by the full “chamber”

16 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION 11th Hurdle: Reconciling Changes If the bill was changed, it has to return to its “House of Origin” for a vote to “concur” or “dispute” the changes that were made If bill is significant or controversial, it can be sent to a “Conference Committee” –e.g., budget, complex, lots of changes made Bill is still subject to ever-shrinking cutoff dates

17 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION 12th Hurdle: Final Steps The bill requires full vote Placed on consent or dispute agenda Conference vote is up or down The bill must be signed by both the President of the Senate (the Lieutenant Governor) and the Speaker of the House

18 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION 13th Hurdle: Signed by the Governor Governor action –Deliver date determines when clock starts for some bills Unless there’s an emergency clause or specified “effective date,” the default effective date is 90 days after the end of the original session

19 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION WSSDA Advocacy Contacts Marie Sullivan, Governmental Relations Director – cell; desk Nan Laughton, Administrative Assistant – desk

20 INVEST IN OUR FUTURE THROUGH PUBLIC EDUCATION Save the Date! January 26-27, 2014 Legislative Conference Day on the Hill Registration Open Now! Sponsored by: WSSDA/WASA/WASBO

21 We’d love to have your feedback. Please fill out an evaluation form before you leave. THANK YOU FOR ATTENDING.


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