To approve an action (i.e., an amendment, committee report, motion).
To make a change in a bill or a law.
Attorney General’s Bill Letters
The letters that examine the legal sufficiency of the bills passed by the General Assembly. The Attorney
General’s Office prepares the letters and submits them to the Governor before the approval or veto of bills.
A proposed law presented for approval to a legislative body.
The number the Secretary of the Senate or the Chief Clerk of the House assigns to a bill at the time of
introduction. The bill retains the same number if it moves to the opposite chamber.
The current standing of a bill.
The original copy of a bill. House bills are printed on blue paper and Senate bills are printed on cream paper.
The 24-hour day as denoted on the calendar.
The number the Secretary of State assigns to a bill after the Governor signs the bill. Chapter numbers are issued
in the numerical order in which the bills are signed.
The report a committee submits to the chambers listing actions taken on bills (i.e., favorable, favorable with
amendments, unfavorable, re-referred, or referred for interim study).
Committee Reporting Courtesy Dates
Each chamber’s committees report their own bills to the floor by this date.
The reprinting of a bill to include committee amendments.
One chamber approves an action taken by the other chamber.
Three members from each chamber, five in the case of the budget conference committee (appointed by the presiding officers) who work to resolve the differences in a bill passed by both chambers. A bill does not pass the General Assembly unless each chamber passes the bill in identical form.
Conference Committee Report
The report the Conference Committee submits to the chambers for final passage of a bill. The report may consist of adopting, rejecting, or adding amendments. Each chamber must adopt the report and then vote for final passage of the bill.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF MARYLAND
Each chamber sends to the other chamber those bills it passes favorably by this date.
Drop into the Hopper
A member files a bill with the Chief Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate for introduction.
A bill is enacted when the bill becomes a law, i.e., is signed by the Governor and takes effect.
Enrolled (Passed Enrolled)
A bill is an enrolled bill if it was amended in the opposite chamber.
A bill does not receive a majority vote on the chamber floor.
A bill as printed for the first time with its assigned bill number.
A bill is introduced in a chamber, “read across the desk” for the first time, and assigned to a standing committee.
Fiscal and Policy Note
An analysis prepared by the Department of Legislative Services of a bill’s impact on State and local revenues and expenditures. It also identifies any mandated appropriations in the State budget and any mandates on local governments; describes the impact on small businesses; describes current law; and, if relevant, outlines the background relating to the proposal. Beginning with the 2017 session, a fiscal and policy note is “revised” when an adopted amendment necessitates a change; a fiscal and policy note is also “revised” if it is changed for any other reason.
July 1 to June 30.
A committee report printed on gold paper indicating the next day’s committee agenda on the Senate floor.
Proposed gubernatorial appointments, requiring legislative approval, are submitted to the General Assembly by the 40th day of the session (Art. II, Sec. 13, MD Constitution). The appointments are delivered to the floor of the chambers in a green bag.
A bill introduced by this date is guaranteed a committee hearing in the chamber of origin.
The nine months between legislative sessions.
A resolution both chambers pass making a statement on a public issue, a request of the Governor or a government
office, or establishes a task force. With certain exceptions, Joint Resolutions do not have the effect of law.
Floor action on an amended bill is postponed for one legislative day.
Length of time from convening a session in the chamber until adjournment; may be longer or shorter than a calendar day i.e., a session that continues into a second calendar day without adjourning is one legislative day. If a chamber adjourns and reconvenes on the same day, that constitutes two legislative days.
An identifying number the Department of Legislative Services gives to a bill request until the bill is introduced
and assigned a bill number. A bill becomes public only when assigned a bill number.
To propose an action.
Move the Previous Question
To end debate and return to the question on the floor.
When a bill is voted on favorably by the majority of the elected members.
A bill the Department of Legislative Services drafts, by request, prior to a legislative session for introduction in
that session. Prefiling dates are set by law.
Minimum number of members of a chamber (or committee) required for the transaction of business.
Action used to establish the presence of the majority required to transact business.
Assignment of a bill(s) from one committee to another
The action of assigning a legislative measure to a committee or committees
Referred for Interim Study
The action a committee takes to refer a bill for committee study during the nine-month interim.
The reassignment of a bill to a different committee after the original referral.
The power of the registered voters, under certain conditions, to petition an act of the last General Assembly (with
certain exceptions) for approval or disapproval at the next General Election.
The failure of an action (i.e., an amendment).
A bill passed in its chamber of origin is returned by the opposite chamber without amendments.
Names of members present in the Chamber are recorded; used to establish a quorum or to take a vote on an issue
before the body.
When a bill is reported out of committee and brought to the chamber floor for preliminary approval, or second reading. Committee and floor amendments may be added to the bill at this time. (The bill is not reprinted for second reading.)
A form of legislative measure introduced in only one chamber of the General Assembly and used for the
regulation of business only within the chamber of origin.
The final adjournment of a session, without adjourning to a specific time or date.
The compilation of all the Chapters, the bills the Governor signs, from a legislative session.
Postpones floor action on a bill until a definite date or time.
Suspend the Rules
To set aside the rules temporarily, by a 2/3 vote, to allow a certain action.
Provides that a provision of the law is automatically repealed on a specific date, unless the General Assembly
reenacts the law.
Refers to the presiding officer of a chamber or of a committee.
The Annotated Code of Maryland, the codified statutory laws of Maryland.
That portion of the chamber reserved for members and officers of the assembly or other persons granted access.
The Eastern Shore of Maryland.
A bill that is printed after second reading in the chamber of origin, including adopted amendments.
A bill is voted on for the final time in each chamber. The third reading vote is recorded.
Action the Governor takes to prevent enactment of a bill passed by the General Assembly. At the next session the General Assembly may override the Governor’s veto with a 3/5 vote in each chamber (except in an election year when overrides are not feasible).
TYPES OF BILLS
A bill introduced at the request of the Governor.
A bill for a local capital project which after consideration by the General Assembly can be included in the capital
budget bill. In general, bond bills are not individually adopted by the General Assembly.
A bill that consists of the Governor’s proposed operating budget for the State for the next fiscal year. The Budget Bill becomes law on approval by both chambers. The Governor’s signature is not required. The bill must be passed by both chambers seven days before the end of a session or the Governor must extend the session. (Art. III, Sec. 52(10), MD Constitution)
Capital Budget Bill
A general construction loan or bond bill that finances construction of State-owned buildings (“bricks and mortar”). This bill states the amount of State debt to be incurred and the projects to be funded. The Capital Budget Bill may not be acted on until the Budget Bill has been passed by the General Assembly.
A bill that amends the Maryland Constitution. A Constitutional Amendment requires a 3/5 vote in each chamber
and approval by the voters at the next General Election.
An identical bill that is introduced in both chambers.
A bill introduced by a committee chairman at the request of the Executive Branch of State government.
A bill that takes effect immediately upon the Governor’s approval. A bill marked as “emergency bill” must pass
third reading with a 3/5 vote in each chamber.
A bill that was unsuccessful in a previous session and is reintroduced in the present session. In the upper left
corner the bill is identified as a reintroduction.
A bill or provision that has a hidden purpose.
This information was prepared by:
Library and Information Services, Office of Policy Analysis, Department of Legislative Services, General Assembly of Maryland
For additional copies or further information, contact:Library and Information Services, 90 State Circle Annapolis, Maryland 21401-1991
Baltimore/Annapolis Area: 410-946-5400/5410
Washington Area: 301-970-5400/5410
Other Maryland Areas: 1-800-492-7122, ext. 5400/5410
TTY users may also use the Maryland Relay Service
to contact the General Assembly
Home Page: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov
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