Davisson: Halftime at the Statehouse

Posted by: Lindsay Devlin  | Thursday, February 4, 2016

As we conclude the first half of this legislative session, great progress has been made to improve Indiana. The House has studied, debated and voted on many significant pieces of legislation that address topics like road funding, education and the illegal drug epidemic. The measures passed by the House will now move to the Senate for further discussion and debate, and members of the House will also consider and vote on Senate proposals.

Last week marked an important step in the legislative process as both chambers passed their legislation before their deadline, with 116 House bills sent to the Senate. Just as the national government is structured, the Indiana government functions as a bicameral legislature. This system emphasizes checks and balances and ensures that laws are enacted in a democratic way. 

The bills that were passed by the House are required to obtain a sponsor in the Senate. The sponsor will carry the bill through the legislative process in the Senate and vice versa in the House. This year, I am sponsoring bills that address public health and agriculture. The proposals will then be assigned to different committees, where a bipartisan group of lawmakers will be able to review, discuss and listen to public testimony on the measure. If the bill passes out of committee, it will then be brought to the Senate or House floor for amendments. Once the opportunity to amend the bill is over, it will be up for final vote.

On many occasions, legislation passes out of both the House and Senate without any changes. However, if a bill passes out of one side but then is changed by the other, the original chamber has to agree on the changes. Should they not agree on the changes made, a conference committee composed of two senators and two state representatives, will come to an agreement on the changes.

At this point, the bill is ready to be sent to the governor where it could be made law or vetoed.  If the governor chooses to veto the proposal, the General Assembly has the option to override the veto. 

I hope you find this information on the legislative process helpful. Members of the General Assembly are working together to address issues important to Hoosiers. I am looking forward to building upon the progress we have made in the first half of this session.

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Rep. Davisson represents parts of Washington, Orange, Lawrence, Jackson, Clark and Harrison Counties.