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[r25] Focusing through the final weeks
Start Date: 4/10/2013Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Date: 4/11/2013End Time: 8:00 AM
Entry Description

Focusing through the final weeks

April brings about many notable events: April Fools’ Day (a personal favorite), Tax Day, Earth Day and the end of the 2013 legislative session.  All of these days and celebrations affect Hoosiers in some way, shape or form, but here at the Statehouse, every legislator is honed in on the end of session and working through conference committees.

The next few weeks will arguably be the busiest here at the Statehouse. I know you may not be familiar with the process a bill goes through to become law, so here is a brief synopsis to get you up to speed:

Representative and senators draft and submit bills to be heard.

The Speaker of the House or President of the Senate sort through the submitted bills and assign them to corresponding committees based on the subject matter and fiscal implications for the state.

The assigned bills go through “first reading” in committees where they are discussed, debated, possibly amended and then voted up or down.

If the bill is passed out of committee, it goes to “second reading” on the House or Senate floor where the author or any legislator can try to change the bill through an amendment.
  
The bill then goes to “third reading” and is debated and voted on in its entirety, including any amendments that passed during second reading.

If passed, the bill then switches chambers going from the House to the Senate or vice versa for the same process again. If the bill is passed with no amendments it goes to the governor to be signed into law.

If there are amendments in the second chamber, it goes back to the author for concurrence or dissent. If the changes are agreed upon, the bill goes to the governor. If not, the bill is sent to a conference committee for further discussion.

We are now heading into this final stage of the process - conference committees. These committees consist of four members, two from the House and two from the Senate, with a representative from both parties.  These four legislators study the bill and try to come to an agreement on what the bill should, which is then voted on by both chambers. If they both approve the amended bill, it goes to the governor. If not, the bill won’t become law. Conference committee meetings can be a lengthy process, which is why the entire last two weeks are specified at the end of session. 

The legislative process is a complex one, but is tried and true. I think it works pretty well, and I hope you do too.

I will continue to work hard to represent our district in Indianapolis and keep you informed throughout the process. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, and I look forward to spending more time in the community during the upcoming interim. 

-30-

State Rep. Don Lehe serves as Chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. He also serves on the Environmental Affairs Committee and the Public Health Committee.  Rep. Lehe represents portions of White, Cass, Carroll, Clinton and Tippecanoe Counties.

Contact Information:
Name: Maggie Johnson
Phone: 317-232-9693
Email: majohnso@iga.in.gov
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  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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