This week saw the hustle and bustle the Legislature is known for. The bills are now coming out of committees and on to the floor in greater numbers. The Senate has also passed enough bills across the floor that they are even showing up in House committees and vice versa.
The process is that a bill goes into committee, has a hearing there, discussion and executive action is taken by the committee. If the bill is voted to pass out of the committee, it is then referred to the appropriate chamber floor for what is call the second reading, where it is then debated. If it passes second reading, it is voted on, generally the next working day, as third reading of the bill. If it passes third reading, it is then sent to the other chamber for their similar process, starting with their committee hearing, then second reading, then third reading. If the bill passes this process, it is sent to the governor, who has the choice to sign a bill or veto it.
We had a House vote on HB 175, the state pay plan, which easily passed on third reading.
This past week had we had a controversial hearing in the Fish, Wildlife & Parks committee on HB 161. This deals with some potential changes to public input and wildlife management. No executive action has been taken by the committee but it did show the democratic process in action with testimony at the hearing lasting for almost two hours.
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