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How Our Laws Are Made

XVI. Bill Originating in Senate


On The preceding discussion has described the legislative process for bills originating in the House. When a bill originates in the Senate, this process is reversed. When the Senate passes a bill that originated in the Senate, it is sent to the House for consideration unless it is held to become a vehicle for a similar House bill if and when passed by the House. The Senate bill is referred to the appropriate House committee for consideration or held at the Speaker’s table at the Speaker’s discretion. If the committee reports the bill to the full House and if the bill is passed by the House without amendment, it is enrolled. If the House passes an amended version of the Senate bill, the bill is returned to the Senate for action on the House amendments. The Senate may agree to the amendments or request a conference to resolve the disagreement over the House amendments or may further amend the House amendments. In accordance with the Constitution, the Senate cannot originate revenue measures. By tradition, the House also originates general appropriation bills. If the Senate does originate a revenue measure either as a Senate bill or an amendment to a non-revenue House bill, it can be returned to the Senate by a vote of the House as an infringement of the constitutional prerogative of the House.

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