In Wyoming, passing a law requires the House, the Senate and the governor to work through a series of steps.
- Creation: An interim committee or individual legislator drafts a bill.
- Filing: The bill is filed in either the House or the Senate and assigned a number. Legislation can be filed before or during the session, with each body settings its own deadlines for when the bill should be voted on.
- Introduction: The bill is introduced in the house of origin and assigned to a committee.
- Committee action: The committee reviews the bill, then recommends the full body's action. The committee may also propose amendments.
- General file: Once the legislation passes at the committee level, it is placed on general file, meaning it is awaiting approval by the house of origin. All members of the chamber — referred to as the Committee of the Whole — are able to suggest amendments before the first vote on the bill.
- Voting: After the Committee of the Whole, two more votes are taken for a total of three.
- Second house: If the bill passes the third reading, it is sent to the other house of the Legislature and the process is repeated.
- Concurrence: A bill can only become a law if identical versions are passed by both the House and Senate. If the second chamber adopts amendments, the first chamber must vote on whether to accept them.
- Conference committee: If the house of origin does not accept the changes, legislative leadership can appoint a conference committee of members from both chambers to settle the differences. Each chamber must agree to the negotiated version.
- Governor's action: The governor can either sign or veto legislation. If a bill is vetoed, both bodies can still enact the law with two-thirds majority votes. The governor can also allow a bill to pass without signing it.
- Publication: New laws are published in state statute.
Follow digital editor Alan Rogers on Twitter @alanmrogers
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