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Legislation

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How to Track Legislation

How a Bill Becomes Law

How to track a bill in the General Assembly.
You have all you need to become an expert at tracking bills. Whatever happens in the General Assembly goes online by about 6 PM the same day. This makes tracking the progress of legislation easy for us. The page you need to track bills is

http://lis.virginia.gov

This link will open to a new window that you can close to return to this page. Below are some tips and explanations on how to track bills.

First you need to know some abbreviations: HB = House Bill; HJ = House Joint Resolutions; HR = House Resolutions SB = Senate Bills; SJ = Senate Joint Resolutions; SR = Senate Resolutions. After each abbreviation will be a number assigned to it. We will mostly be concerned with the HB's and SB's because these can become laws. This is the easiest way to track a bill. Just go to the legislative web site listed above and put in the HB or SB and number and click enter to find it. You will get a brief description of the bill, its patron(s) and its progress.

What if you don't know the bill number? You can still search for a bill on the same page by clicking on one of the links. Here are the links and what they represent:

  • All legislation - a long list of every bill introduced starting with HB 1 - there may be 3000 items

  • By Member - legislation sponsored by a delegate or senator - click on the name to see what the representative has sponsored

  • By Committee - a list of committees - click a committee to see the bills that are in that committee

  • By subject - a long list of subjects such as "Motor Vehicles" and "Insurance" - click on a subject to see the related bills

  • Enrolled bills - bills that have passed both houses

  • Acts of Assembly - signed into law by the governor

  • Access personal lists - you must have a password to sign in (for use by assembly members)

  • Search Bills & Resolutions - a search engine using keywords

  • Introduced for a given day - just what it says

  • Daily floor calendar - just what it says

  • Continued to next session - just what it says

  • Passed the House - just what it says

  • Passed the Senate - just what it says

  • Passed House and Senate - just what it says

  • In conference - the House and the Senate passed different versions so a conference committee will try to put the two different versions together

  • Conference report agreed to - just what it says

  • Conference report rejected - just what it says

  • Failed - just what it says

  • Signed by Speaker & President - just what it says

  • Governor's recommendations - just what it says

  • Governor's recommendations adopted - just what it says

  • Approved by Governor or enacted - just what it says

  • Vetoed by Governor - just what it says

After searching be sure to click on the bill (such as HB 1) because that will be a link to that bill's information. Good luck!

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