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Legislative Terms 

Need help understanding the legislative process? Here are a few frequently used terms.

  • Executive Session: Committee meeting following public hearings to vote on how to report out bills
  • Favorable Report: Committee recommendation that a bill pass in its original form, as amended, or in a new form
  • Adverse Report: Committee recommendation that a bill not pass
  • Study Order: Committee recommendation that a bill be studied during recess; often used to quietly kill a bill
  • First Reading: Printing of bill’s number and title in the daily calendar
  • Second Reading: Call for a vote on a bill to order it to third reading; amendments offered and voted on; failure to pass results in the bill being killed
  • Third Reading: Review of bills by House and Senate counsel to insure they are in the proper legal form
  • Engrossment: Printing of a bill on special parchment after passage by both branches
  • Enactment: Return of an “engrossed” bill to its branch of origination for final passage; no further amendments allowed; typically a formality
  • Conference Committee: Joint committee of both branches to agree upon a version for each branch to pass
  • Override: If the Governor refuses to sign a bill, veto may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of both branches
  • Pocket Veto: If the legislative session has expired and the governor takes no action on legislation during the ten day gubernatorial review period, the legislation does not become law
  • Prorogation: Formal ending of an annual session of the legislature, must be by vote of both branches and with the consent of the governor
  • Carryover: Any matter pending before the legislature at the end of the first year of its biennial session will be considered during the second year at the same legislative status as it was at the conclusion of the first legislative year