How a Bill Becomes a Law in Illinois with 2020 Deadlines
Bills start out as ideas from the public or a legislator. Lobbyists also seek legislators to request the writing of a bill. The first step is finding a member of the House or Senate to sponsor your idea. Once you have a sponsor, the mechanics of making the idea into a law begins.
You work with the sponsor to draft the language you recommend, then the language must be submitted to the Legislative Review Board (LRB). The LRB does the actual writing of the language of the bill. This year the LRB deadlines are Jan 24 for House bills and January 31 for Senate bills.
Bills are then introduced into the legislative chamber of its sponsor. This is called the bill’s first reading. The 2020 bill introduction deadline is February 14.
Once introduced, the bill is assigned to a House or Senate committee based upon its subject matter. The bill may be amended in committee. It must pass through a vote in its bi-partisan committee before it proceeds back to the chamber. The committee deadline is March 27. If a bill doesn’t leave the committee, it is dead. If it does leave the committee it is sent to the floor of its introducing chamber, this is the “second reading”. Further amendments are still possible at this time.
After a bill is called for its third reading, it is voted on. The third reading deadline is April 24, 2020.
Once a bill passes in the chamber where it was introduced it is then sent to the second chamber for a vote. A bill can become a law after passing both chambers of the General Assembly with a majority vote. In general, the General Assembly adjourns from its legislative session around June 1.
A bill passed by both chambers must be sent to the governor within 30 days.
The Governor then has 60 days to sign it, or to return it with a veto. If the Governor does nothing, the bill will automatically become a law after the 60-day period. If the Governor vetoes a bill, the bill can still become law if the General Assembly overrides the veto by passing the bill again by a 3/5 vote in both houses. This voting occurs in the Fall veto session of the General Assembly.
Current IRA members will receive a separate notice regarding two (2) upcoming free webinars entitled
"Civics for Environmentalists"