Working together in conference committees

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Working together in conference committees

It's hard to believe that the last two weeks of session are here. Representing our community at the Statehouse has been very rewarding. With the last day we can conduct our work on April 29, I wanted to take this opportunity to explain the process and what the next two weeks will be like at the Statehouse.

After bills pass out of one chamber, they are sent to the other. This past week, Senate bills returned to the Senate, and House bills returned to the House. This legislative process allows for only the best bills to be passed into law, but sometimes bills do not return the same way they left, while others do not return at all.

Once a bill has passed both the House and the Senate, it can follow a few different paths. If changes are made to the legislation, the author has the option to concur, meaning they agree with the new language that is now in the bill. This legislation will then go to the governor to be signed into law.

The author also has the opportunity to dissent or disagree with the new language. If this happens, the bill is referred to conference committee with two members of the House and two members of the Senate serving on the committee. During conference committee, members are able to discuss the changes made and work together to come up with a final version of the bill that all parties are comfortable with.

During the final weeks, I will continue to advocate for our community. I encourage you to visit so that you can learn more about the legislation I am working on and see the process bills go through.

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