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

  5. The originating chamber holds second and third readings and can then call for a vote.

  6. If approved in the originating chamber, the bill advances to the other chamber, which repeats steps 4 and 5.

  7. If approved in the second chamber, the Attorney General's office reviews the constitutionality of the new law for the Governor's consideration.

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

  9. Unless otherwise stipulated, the new law takes effect July 1 of the same year.

Your involvement is critical in moving a bill through this process. Contacting your legislators and committee chairs to tell them why you support a bill and asking for a hearing, a vote or their approval is essential to the legislative process.

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