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Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council

ORC - Serving All Oklahomans with Disabilities

How an Idea Becomes a Law

  1. Ideas come from many sources: constituents, interest groups, government agencies, interim studies, and the Governor.
  2. Author requests bill to be researched and drafted.
  3. Bill is filed electronically with Clerk and is assigned a number.
  4. Bill is introduced and undergoes First and Second Readings. Speaker assigns it to committee(s) or direct to calendar.
  5. Committee Consideration
    • Bill reported “do pass” or “do pass as amended.”
    • Committee reports “do not pass” or does not act on the measure.* STOP
  6. Bill moves to General Order. Available to Floor Leader for possible scheduling on Floor Agenda.
  7. Floor Consideration: Bill scheduled on Floor Agenda. Bill is explained, possibly amended, debated, and voted upon. Third Reading and final passage.*
    • Bill passes
    • Bill does not pass STOP
  8. Engrossed to Senate: Bill goes through similar process in Senate.**
    • Bill passes
    • Bill does not pass STOP
  9. Returned to House
    • Without amendments
      • Enrolled to Governor
    • With amendments
      • House concurs in Senate amendments. Fourth Reading and final passage.**
        • Enrolled to Governor
      • House refuses to concur and requests conference with Senate.
        • Conference Committee
          • Conference Committee Report electronically filed and available for Floor Leader to schedule on House Floor.
            • House adopts Conference Committee Report.
            • Fourth Reading and final passage.**
              • Transmitted to Senate for consideration and vote. If approved, it is enrolled to Governor.
            • House fails to adopt Conference Committee Report. Further conference may be requested.
          • Conference Committee Report filed: Conferees unable to agree.
          • Conference Committee Report not filed. STOP
  10. To Governor
    • Signs bill
      • To Secretary of State
    • Bill becomes law without signature***
      • To Secretary of State
    • Vetoes bill
      • Two‐thirds vote in each house to override veto, unless bill passed with an emergency, which then requires a three‐fourths vote.
        • To Secretary of State
      • Legislature does not override veto. STOP
    • Line‐item veto on appropriation bills is possible.
    • Pocket veto****
  11. To Secretary of State
    • Becomes law on date specified in bill
    • If no date is specified, and bill contains emergency clause, bill is effective immediately upon Governor’s signature.
    • If no date is specified, and no emergency clause, bill becomes law 90 days after sine die adjournment.

*Under certain conditions, failure of a measure will prohibit another bill having same effect and subject from being considered by the House during either session of the current Legislature.

**Final passage in the House normally requires 51 votes; 68 votes to adopt emergency clause. Vote requirement in the Senate is 25 votes; 33 votes to adopt emergency clause.

***Except during the last five days of session, the Governor has five days to take action on a bill. If no action is taken, the bill becomes law on its effective date.

****No bill may become law after the final adjournment of the Legislature, unless signed by the Governor within 15 days after adjournment.

Prepared by Oklahoma House of Representatives
Research Division
Updated 11/25/2014