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35 terms

How a bill becomes a law

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legislative session
the months in which legislators meet to discuss and pass laws for each of the two years
bicameral legislature
a legislature with two separate chambers, each of which participate in making and adoption of laws
house of representatives
there are 150 people that make up the Vermont house and they each represent about 4,000 citizens
senate
there are 30 people in vermont and each person represents 20,000 people in a district
bill
a proposed law
resolution
a declaration of the legislative body
legislative council
a team of lawyers and administrative staff who work with legislators to write bills and laws
introduce
the first formal step in the process of lawmaking.
sponsors
legislators who propose a bill
legislative committees
a small group of legislators appointed to meet and discuss bills of particular topic or type
speaker of the house
leader elected by the house of represntatives
lieutenant governor
elected by the voters. he or she presided over the senate unless he or she is acting governor
president pro tempore
serves in the lieutenant governors place in his or her absence. elected by members of the senate.
hearings
meetings of a committee where the public is invited to comment on proposed legislation, public issues or policy decisions
lobbyists
individuals who are paid or who spend over $500 to influence legislators to pass or prevent passage of particular laws and policies. often work closely with legislators to help shape bills.
testimony
statements made by people who participate in a legislative hearing
mark-up
to amend or make changes to a bill while it is in committee
passed out favorably
a committee vote to return the bill to the House or Senate with a recommendation that it be approved
passed out favorably with amendment
a committee vote to return the bill to the house or senate with a recommendation that it be approved with changes made by the committee
passed out unfavorably
a committee vote to return the bill to the house or senate with a recommendation that it not be approved
without any recommendations
a bill that is sent back to the house or senate for vote without a committee recomendation.
table the bill
a bill that is kept in committee so that it never goes to a vote by the house or senate. it can be called up again at any time
dies in committee
a bill that is not returned to the house or senate for debat and/or vote
second reading
when the title of a bill is read on the floor of the house or senate for the second time
third reading
when a bill is read by title on the floor of the house or senate for the third time, final vote after on the bill
reporter
a legislator who is a member of the committee that is bringing the bill to the floor for the vote
notice calendar
published every day by the Legislative Council, lists bills that are going to be debated and voted on the following day.
floor debate
before a bill is voted on, legislators debate the bill by arguing in favor or against the bill, they also offer amendments
germane
related to the purpose of the bill
recess
a break form the meeting of the House or Senate
Roll call vote
the house clerk or secretary of the senate reads off each legislator's name, and they answer yea or nay or they can abstain.
house clerk and secretary of the senate
elected by the legislators to help keep track of bills, resolutions, votes and the proceedings of the legislators, and to prepare calendars and journals
conference committee
made up of three senators and three representatives who are appointed by the leadership of their chambers
abstain
to choose not to participate
veto
when the governor decides not to sign a bill into law.