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How a bill becomes law in the Wyoming Legislature
Process

How a bill becomes law in the Wyoming Legislature

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Jonah Business Center

The Jonah Business Center in Cheyenne is the temporary home of Wyoming’s legislature while the state Capitol is under renovation.

In Wyoming, passing a law requires the House, the Senate and the governor to work through a series of steps. 

  1. Creation: An interim committee or individual legislator drafts a bill. 
  2. 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.
  3. Introduction: The bill is introduced in the house of origin and assigned to a committee. 
  4. Committee action: The committee reviews the bill, then recommends the full body's action. The committee may also propose amendments. 
  5. 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. 
  6. Voting: After the Committee of the Whole, two more votes are taken for a total of three.
  7. Second house: If the bill passes the third reading, it is sent to the other house of the Legislature and the process is repeated. 
  8. 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.
  9. 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.  
  10. 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.
  11. Publication: New laws are published in state statute. 

Follow digital editor Alan Rogers on Twitter @alanmrogers

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