How Laws Are Made in Maryland

Bill Idea & Drafting | Introduction | Evaluation | Citizen Involvement | Passage

Introduction in the House or Senate

The Maryland General Assembly is divided into two chambers: the House of Delegates and the Senate. Before a bill is evaluated by the assembly, it must be officially introduced by the bill's legislative sponsor. The introduction is the first of three presentations, or "readings," that must take place in each chamber. Most bills are introduced during the first 55 days of a session. After that, a two-thirds vote is required to introduce a bill in the House or Senate.

Depending on where the bill is introduced, the speaker of the House or the president of the Senate refers the bill to an appropriate committee for markup. This is the first opportunity for lawmakers to propose changes to the bill or solicit public input. For example, if a bill proposing new preservation methods for the Chesapeake Bay is introduced in the House, the speaker would refer it to the House of Delegates Environmental Matters Committee.

Next Step: Evaluation »

Related Links:
General Assembly Committees
Committee Meeting and Hearing Schedules

Source: Md. Department of Legislative Services
Kamille Whittaker - washingtonpost.com


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