How a Bill Becomes A Law in Arkansas

A concerned citizen contacts his/her Senator or Representative.

After the researching is done, the legislator has the bill drafted by his staff.

After a bill is drafted, it can be introduced by any member of the House or Senate, and more than one legislator can sponsor a bill. The bill is filed with the Bill Clerk, who assigns the bill a number.

The bill is then introduced and read in the House or the Senate for the first and usually a second time ( a bill must be read three times before final passage).

After reading, the bill is assigned to the appropriate Committee .

The Committee schedules the bill to be read at a public meeting where legislators and anyone interested can speak for or against the bill. The committee can also add amendments to a bill.

The committee then votes on the bill. The committee votes Do pass, do pass as amended, do not pass, or without recommendation.

If a bill is amended, the bill is engrossed to include the amendment.

When a bill comes out of committee it is placed on the calendar for a third reading. At the third reading, the Reading clerk reads the title of the bill for the third and final time.

Vote: Most bills are adopted by a simple majority. Appropriation bills require a 3/4 vote. Initiated acts may be amended or repealed by a 2/3 vote of both houses.

If the Bill fails, it dies on the floor.

If the bill passes, it is sent to the opposite chamber and repeats the process that it followed in the previous chamber.

If the House amends a Senate bill, it is then referred to the senate and then referred to a committee.

Conference Committee: If the 2 houses cannot agree on a bill, the differences are reconciled by a conference committee with Representatives from each House. Compromises subject to approval by both Houses.

When Bills are passed by both Houses, the enrolled bill is certified by the presiding officer of each House and sent to the Governor.

The Governor must sign, veto, or refer the bill back to its House of origin with his objections within 5 days. The bill may be passed over the Governor’s veto by a simple majority vote of both houses. A bill not signed or returned within 5 days of session must be signed or vetoed by the Governor within 20 days of adjournment of the general assembly or they become law without his signature.

All acts are given a number and filed with the Secretary of State.