How a Bill Becomes a Law




Arizona Bill is introduced in the House by a Member, a group of Members, a Standing Committee or a Majority of a Committee, after being written in proper form by the Legislative Council.

Bill is branded (assigned a number), First Read and referred by the Speaker to appropriate Standing Committees and to the Chief Clerk for printing and distribution.

Committees consider Bill (may include hearings, expert testimony, statements from citizenry). Reports recommendations to Whole House. Committee on Rules determines if Bill is constitutional and in proper form.

Committee on Rules places Bill on Active Calendar and Speaker sets order in which measures will be considered.

Committee of the Whole (COW). Informal session of entire House membership acting as one committee. Debate, amendment, recommendations on Bills on Calendar.

Third Reading-Roll Call. Every Member present must vote (unless excused and no Member may vote for another Member.

If passed by House, Bill goes on to the Senate…


House Bill is First Read in the Senate and laid over one day.

Second Reading– President refers Bill to appropriate Standing committees.

Committees consider Bill (May include hearings, expert testimony, statements from citizenry). Reports recommendations to entire Senate.

Committee on Rules’ agenda becomes the calendar for Committee of the Whole and after 5 days President designates which measures are to be placed on Active Calendar of the Committee of the Whole.

Committee of the Whole. Entire membership of Senate acts as one committee. Debate, amendments and recommendations on Bills on Calendar.

Third Reading — Names called alphabetically and unless excused, each Senator present must vote on each measure.

If passed by Senate (either in identical form or amended by adding or deleting material), Bill is sent back to House…


If Bill is identical to measure originally passed by House, goes to Governor…

If Bill comes back to House in different form (amended either by addition or deletion of material)

Bill may be accepted in new form and sent to Governor…


After Bill is received by Governor having been passed by both House and Senate, the Governor may sign Bill or allow Bill to become law without his signature if he takes no action during next five days (or ten days after adjournment).

Then Bill becomes law – a part of the Arizona Revised Statutes.

Bill may be rejected and sent to a Conference Committee…

Conference Committee

Bill is sent to Conference Committee made up of Representatives appointed by the Speaker and Senators appointed by the President — each with own idea of how Bill should pass Conference committee “mends” Bill by accepting original version, by adding new material, by deleting language or in some way compromising disagreements.

A Conference Committee Report is sent back to each House for adoption and after Final Passage, Bill is sent on to Governor…

Then to Governor from Conference Committee

The Governor may veto Bill, but must return Bill to House stating his/her reasons. The House and Senate may override the Governor’s veto by a two thirds vote (or three-fourths, if an emergency measure).

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