How an Idea Becomes a Law
The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is one of the oldest institutions in the United States hearing bills and passing laws. Visit the links below to learn how an idea becomes a law in Massachusetts.
- There Ought to be a Law!
- Petition is Filed
- Hearing is Held and Testimony Heard
- Committee Report Directs the Measure’s Path - Rejection or on to First Reading
- Bill Read a Second Time, Debate Begins
- Bill Proceeds to the Committee on Bills in the Third Reading
- Bill is Reviewed by the Committee on Bills in the Third Reading
- Bill Read a Third Time, Floor Debate Continues
- Bill Passed to be Engrossed by One Legislative Branch
- Second Legislative Branch Considers Bill
- Amendments Produce Conflicting Versions
- Bill Enacted and Sent to Governor
- The Idea Becomes Law!
In some instances, the legislative process can be more complex than what is depicted here. Depending on the nature of the proposed legislation, the process can include additional procedural steps that have not been included in this simplified version.