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How a Bill Becomes a Law in Indiana

Getting a bill passed in Indiana starts with your involvement and ends when the law is signed by the governor. Below is a brief overview of the process:

  1. A bill starts with an idea for how to make Indiana better.

  2. The idea is drafted into a bill by the lawyers at the Legislative Services Agency and sponsored by a member of the Indiana General Assembly. (The Indiana General Assembly is a part-time legislature that meets for 3-4 months each year. There are two chambers, the Indiana Senate with 50 members and the Indiana House of Representatives with 100 members).

  3. The drafted bill is introduced in either chamber (House or Senate).

  4. The bill is assigned to a committee, where the chair can call for a hearing on the bill. The committee can then choose to vote on the bill to recommend approval, amendment or rejection.

  5. The originating chamber (House or Senate) holds second and third readings, and then may call a vote.

  6. If approved in the originating chamber, the bill goes to the other chamber and repeats steps four and five.

  7. If approved in the second chamber, the Attorney General's office reviews the constitutionality of the law before passing it to the Governor.

  8. The Governor then either signs the bill into law, or vetoes it. A veto can be overturned by a majority in both chambers.

  9. The new law takes effect on July 1 of the same year, unless otherwise stipulated.

Your involvement is critical in moving a bill through this process. Contacting your legislators and committee chairs is essential to the legislative process. You can contact them to express support, ask for a hearing or a vote, or push for their approval. Learn who your legislator is here, and found out how you can support the legalization of Video Gaming Terminals in Indiana here.

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