How bills become law in Kentucky
|Process||What can happen|
|1. A bill is introduced in the House or Senate.|
Once filed, a bill gets a number and is referred to a committee which handles similar topics. A bill can be amended in committee.
bill can be assigned to a committee whose chairman opposes it. The
chairman can refuse to schedule the bill for a hearing - known as
"stalling" it - or allow a hearing but refuse to call for a
If a majority opposes holding a bill in committee, they can vote to "discharge" it from the committee and send it to the floor, but this rarely happens.
Sometimes a bill heard in committee is replaced by a "committee substitute" that takes the place of the original bill and sometimes has little to do with the original bill's subject matter. The public is usually allowed to see these committee substitutes only after they have been adopted in committee and sent to the floor. In the Senate, the bill is often voted on by the full Senate the same day it comes out of committee, meaning that the public has no opportunity to even read the final version of the bill before it is approved. And in some cases, the House will give final passage that same day.
Sometimes bills are voted out of committees in impromptu meetings on the floor of the House or Senate with just a few moments' notice. Other bills, such as the budget, are manipulated so the legislature can make decisions in secret conference committees.
When a committee passes a bill, it goes back to the House or Senate for a floor debate and vote, where a majority of voting members, in most cases, is enough to pass it (51 of all 100 House members, or 20 of 38 senators).
bill can pass or fail.
Opponents can try to avoid a floor vote by getting a bill referred to another committee.
Once on the floor, a bill can be amended during floor debates, and legislators who oppose it can try to minimize its impact - known as "gutting" it - through an amendment. Other amendments can improve a bill.
Bills that fail the floor vote can, on rare occasions, be resurrected.
On to the other chamber.
When the Senate passes a bill that was introduced there, it then goes to the House and is referred to a House committee, and vice versa. The bill goes through the same committee and floor vote procedures. In addition to the usual committee and floor debate risks, bills that pass one chamber can run into greater opposition once they go to the other side, especially when the House and Senate are controlled by different political parties.
bill can pass or fail.
Bills can be held "hostage" - set aside until the Senate or House acts on bills considered a priority by the other chamber.
If the House and Senate pass different versions of a bill, each chamber appoints members to a conference committee to work out a compromise. The agreed-upon version then goes back to each chamber for a final vote.
|If the conference committee fails to reach a compromise, the bill dies.|
If the House and Senate accept the compromise, the bill passes and goes to the governor. If either chamber doesn't like the compromise, lawmakers can reject it.
|The bill can pass or fail.|
The governor has 10 days to act on a bill after receiving it.
|A bill will not become law if the governor vetoes the bill and the House or Senate fail to override the veto. The legislature typically schedules the last day of the legislative session following a ten day recess so that they have a day remaining to override a governor's veto made on the tenth day the governor is given to act on a bill.|