State House
New Jersey Legislature
News from around the state
go
www.njleg.state.nj.us
 
Executive Branch | Judicial Branch | Downloads | Welcome to the State House | Información en Español
site map
what's new
faq
links
help
contact us
 

  general info
  divider
 
How a Bill Becomes Law in New Jersey      

Idea Developed


Idea Developed

A legislator decides to sponsor a bill, sometimes at the suggestion of a constituent, interest group, public official, or the Governor. The legislator may ask other legislators in the same House to join as co-sponsors.

 

Bill Drafted


Bill Drafted

At the legislator's direction, the Office of Legislative Services, a non-partisan agency of the Legislature, provides research and drafting assistance, and prepares the bill in proper technical form.

 

Bill Introduced


Bill Introduced

During a session, the legislator gives the bill to the Senate Secretary or Assembly Clerk, who reads the bill's title aloud. This is known as the first reading. The bill is printed and released to the public.

 
           

Committee Reference


Committee Reference

The Senate President or Assembly Speaker usually refers the bill to a committee for review, but may send the bill directly to the second reading in order to speed its consideration.

 

Committee Action


Committee Action

When scheduled by the chair, the committee considers the bill at a meeting open to the public. The committee may report the bill to the House as is, with amendments, or by a substitute bill. If not considered or reported, the bill remains in committee.

 

Second Reading


Second Reading

When the bill is reported to the floor (or referred directly without committee review), its title is read aloud for the second reading. The bill is eligible for amendment on the floor. After the bill is given a third reading, the House must vote to return it to the second reading for any further amendments.

 
           

Third Reading


Third Reading

When scheduled by the President or Speaker, the bill is given a third reading and considered on the floor. The bill may not go through the second and third reading on the same day, except by an emergency vote of 3/4 of the members (30 votes in the Senate, 60 in the Assembly).

 

House Vote


House Vote

The bill passes when approved by a majority of the authorized members (21 votes in the Senate, 41 in the Assembly) and is sent to the other House. If a final vote is not taken, the bill may be considered at another time or may be returned to a committee by a vote of the House.

 

Second House


Second House

The bill is delivered to the second House where it goes through the same process. If the second House amends the bill, it is returned to the first House for a vote on the changes. A bill receives final legislative approval when it passes both Houses in identical form.

 
           

Governor's Action


Governor's Action

After final passage, the bill is sent to the Governor. The Governor may sign it, conditionally veto it (returning it for changes) or veto it absolutely. The Governor may veto single line items of appropriation bills. Bill passed in the last 10 days of a 2-year session may be "pocket vetoed."

 

Law


Law

A bill becomes law upon the Governor's signature or after 45 days if no action is taken. If the House of origin is in recess on the 45th day, the time is extended until it reconvenes. (Different rules apply to bills passed during the last 45 days of a two-year session.) If vetoed, a bill may become law if the Legislature overrides the veto by a 2/3 vote. A law takes effect on the day specified in its text or, if unspecified, the next July 4th.

     
           
Divider

  home | back

 

Document Formats Used on this Siteemail for Legislative infoemail Webmaster
©2002 New Jersey Office of Legislative Services