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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois Legislation: Illinois's Legislative Process

Learn how to identify and track recent bills that are introduced in the Illinois General Assembly

Online help

If you're a visual learner, there's a flow chart of the Illinois legislative process at http://www.ilga.gov/commission/lru/howabillbecomesalaw.pdf

If a written description is more your thing, try http://www.ilga.gov/commission/lrb/lrbres.htm.

From a bill to a law: federal vs. Illinois process

 

U.S. Congress

Illinois General Assembly

1. Bill introduced in house of origin (“first house”)

1. Bill introduced in house of origin (“first house”)

 

2. First reading of bill

2. Bill referred to committee of first house

3. Bill referred to Rules Committee, which refers bill to a committee of first house

3. Committee decides to consider bill

4. Committee decides to consider bill, or not

4. Committee or subcommittee may hold hearing

5. Committee or subcommittee may hold hearing

5. Committee holds “markup session” and votes to report the bill out to the first house, often in amended form

6. Committee may amend the bill; committee votes to report the bill out to the first house

 

7. Second reading of bill in first house; amendments can be proposed from the floor if they have been approved by the Rules Committee

6. Bill is debated and voted on

8. Third reading of bill; bill is debated and voted on

7. Bill is sent to second house in the form passed by the first house (“engrossed”)

9. Bill is sent to second house in the form passed by the first house (“engrossed”)

8. Second house repeats steps 1-6

10. Second house repeats steps 1-8

9. If bill passes second house in the same form as it passed the first house, it is sent to the President.  Skip to step #12

11. If bill passes second house in the same form as it passed the first house, it is sent to the Governor.  Skip to step #15

 

12. If bill passes second house in a different version than it passed the first house, the second house’s version is sent back to the first house to be voted on (“concurrance”)

10. If bill passes second house in a different version than it passed the first house, a conference committee is formed to reconcile the differences and report back to both houses

13. If the first house does not concur with the second house’s version, a conference committee is formed to reconcile the differences and report back to both houses

11. If both houses accept the conference committee report, the bill is passed and is sent to the President

14. If both houses accept the conference committee report, the bill is passed and forwarded to the Governor within 30 days.

12. The President can sign or veto the bill within 10 days.  If he does neither, the bill becomes law after 10 days if Congress is in session.  If Congress is not in session, the bill does not become law (“pocket veto”)

15. The Governor can sign or veto the bill within 60 days.  If the Governor does nothing, the bill becomes law after 60 days.  He also has the right to amend the bill (“amendatory veto”) or change the dollar amount of a bill allocating funds (“item veto”). 

13. Both houses must vote to override the President’s veto by a 2/3 majority.

16.  Both houses must vote to override a total veto by a 2/3 majority. If a total veto is not overridden, the bill dies.  If an item veto is not overridden by a 2/3 majority, the bill becomes law with the change in funding proposed by the governor.  If both houses override an amendatory veto, the bill becomes law in the form originally passed by both houses.

14. Law is assigned a Public Law number, printed as a slip law, then printed in the Statutes at Large

17. Law is assigned a Public Act number and Printed in Laws of Illinois

15. Law is compiled into the United States Code

18. Law is compiled into the Illinois Compiled Statutes

16. Agencies promulgate regulations as directed in the law

19. Agencies promulgate regulations as directed in the law

 

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