Legislative Process

The Legislature

Established in
1819

Consists of Senate and House of Representatives

Meets annually in Montgomery for regular sessions

The Legislators

Senators
0

Qualifications for Senator

Representatives

Qualifications for Representative

Term of Office

Senators & Representatives
0 Years

The Legislators from your District

When the Legislature Convenes and Adjourns

The Session Begins

Organizational sessions convene on the second Tuesday in January following the election of the legislators and are limited to ten consecutive calendar days.

The various officers, leaders, and employees for each body would include:

Viewing the Legislature in Action

The general daily order of business shall be:

Senate

House

Voting

House

Committees

Each House has approximately 23 Standing Committees, ranging from 5 to 15 members each.

These committees will cover the areas of:

Committees

  1. Each House’s rules provide how the chairperson and vice-chair-person of each committee are selected.
  2. The committee system divides up the work of the legislature.
  3. Bills are assigned after first reading, by the presiding officer to a specific committee; in the Senate the assignment is with the con- currence of the President Pro-Tem; committees take one of the following actions upon a bill.
    1. Receives and takes no action
    2. Reports bill out of committee to floor of Senate or House as follows:
      1. Favorable
      2. Favorable with amendment
      3. Substitute
  4. Major revision of bills is done in committee.
    1. Here the public has the opportunity to testify in favor or opposition of a bill.
    2. Amendments may be made by motion in the committee, by committee reports, or substitute bills. All charges in a bill must relate to the subject matter of the bill; unrelated amendments may not be tacked on.

Kinds of Legislative Measures

  1. A bill is proposed law. All statutes must be enacted through a bill.
  2. Resolutions, unlike bills, do not result in new law. They can be used by the drafter as a vehicle to accomplish several functions.
    1. To express policy
    2. To amend Alabama’s Constitution. An amendment to the Constitution may be proposed by joint resolution passed by a three-fifth’s vote in both the House and Senate in order to be put on the next general election ballot. No action of the Governor is necessary.
    3. To amend legislative rules.
    4. To take action on federal constitutional issues.
    5. To create interim study committees.
    6. To provide for administrative details of each house, such as when to adjourn and when to meet again.
    7. To express congratulations, commendation, or sympathy.
    8. To repeal agency rules.
  3. There are two types of resolutions: simple and joint.
    1. Simple resolutions are resolutions of a single house, to express that house’s opinion on the particular matter.
    2. Joint resolutions are passed by both houses and submitted to the Governor for his approval, except for constitutional amendments which do not require the Governor’s approval.

Parts of a Bill

There are 7 parts to a bill. They are:

Steps Enacting a Bill

  1. A legislator prepares a bill or has it prepared in typewritten form on 8½ x 11 inches, line numbered pages.
  2. The bill is then dropped in the “hopper” by delivery to Secretary of Senate, or Clerk of the House.
  3. The bill then is read for the first time by title only.
  4. The bill then is assigned to the appropriate committee.
  5. A standing committee then studies the bill and holds a hearing, as previously set forth.
  6. If the bill is reported out of committee the chairman signs the report and the report is delivered to Secretary of the Senate or Clerk of the House.
  7. The report of the committee returned to the body constitutes a second reading.
  8. The bill is read for the third time and must be read at length unless reading is waived.
  9. If the bill receives a majority vote it is declared passed and sent to the other body.
  10. The other house then goes through the same process as outlined above, including first and second readings, assignment to the committee, hearing, etc.
  11. If the bill receives majority vote of the second house it then goes to house of origination for enrollment:
    1. If the bill is amended in the second house it is then necessary to send it to first house for concurrence on amendment.
    2. If first house does not concur on amendments, a conference committee is then chosen from each house.
    3. If both houses accept conference committee report, the bill is deemed passed and then enrolled.
  12. The bill is then signed by:
    1. Secretary of the Senate, if originating in Senate; or by clerk of the House, if originating in House.
    2. Speaker of the House.
    3. Presiding Officer of the Senate.
  13. The signed bill is then enrolled and sent to the Governor.
  14. The enrolled bill becomes law if:
    1. Governor signs.
    2. Governor does not sign or veto, in 10 days.
    3. Both houses pass it over the Governor’s veto (by majority vote of the total membership of each house).
  15. The enrolled bill is filed with Secretary of State and receives an Act Number, as example, Act 07-117.
  16. Those provisions of the Enrolled Act that are general, public, and permanent in nature are compiled in the Alabama Code.
  17. The Constitution may be amended — in two different ways:
    1. Amendments may be proposed by bill or resolution in one house, read on three separate days, and passed by a three-fifths vote in that house. Next the measure goes through the same procedure in the other house. If the measure is successful in both houses, it is submitted to the people and must receive a majority vote to become part of the Constitution.
    2. An amendment may be passed if a majority of the Legislature passes a bill or resolution calling for a constitutional convention, setting out the number of delegates to the convention, and providing for an election to decide whether the convention will be held. No constitutional convention has been held in Alabama since the present Constitution was adopted in 1901.

When Bills Become Effective

Who Prepares and Introduces Bills

Fiscal Notes

When Bills may be Introduced

Budget Isolation

Record of Legislative Activity

Lobbying and Lobbyists

News & Updates

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