How Laws Are Made in Maryland

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


The Final Vote

At the third reading, the final version of the bill is presented to both the House of Delegates and the Senate for a final vote. If the bill is passed in both chambers, it is ready to be sent to the governor for consideration.

On The Governor's Desk

All bills passed at regular or special sessions must be presented to the governor no later than 20 days after adjournment. Once the governor receives the bill, there are three ways it can become law:

  • The governor can sign the bill.
  • If the governor does not sign or veto the bill within a designated time period, the bill automatically becomes law, although it is rare for a bill to take effect without the governor's signature.
  • The legislature can override the governor's veto with a three-fifths vote in each chamber.

After the governor, the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Delegates sign the bills passed by the General Assembly, laws usually take effect on October 1.

Source: Md. Department of Legislative Services
Kamille Whittaker -

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