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The Life of a Law: Third Reading

September 10, 2015
Stack of Paper

This is the fourth installment in a series explaining the process of how a bill becomes a law. For quick reference, see our infographic of the law-making process.

Our bill’s still chugging along on the path to becoming a Georgia law. First we learned how an idea makes its way to the Georgia General Assembly. Then we learned how the First and Second Readings differ between the 2 chambers. In our last The Life of a Law blog, we delved into what happens in a committee. Now we’re ready for its Third Reading.

General Calendar

After a committee considers a bill and favorably reports back with a Yea, the bill returns back to the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate. They then each prepare a General Calendar of bills for their respective chambers, compiling all the favorably reported bills from each committee. This list can become quite extensive.

Rules Committee Creates Rules Calendar

Using the bills from the General Calendar, the Rules Committees for each house create a Rules Calendar for the next legislative day. This calendar sets up the list of bills to be considered on the floor. So on a typical legislative day, the presiding officer of each house brings up the bills from the Rules Calendar for floor consideration.

Third Reading

Once the presiding officer does this, the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate read the bill’s title for its Third Reading. If you’re sitting in the chamber at this time, you might think you were at an auction. Each bill title is read quickly, in long winded sentences. After its Third Reading, the bill finally opens for floor debate by our State Senators and Representatives.

There our journey will continue.

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Last updated April 27, 2017.

About the Author

Bethany McDaniel is the Interactive Web Content Manager for GeorgiaGov. She graduated from Berry College in Rome, Ga., with degrees in Visual Communication and History.

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