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FAQs: Bills & Resolutions

How a Bill Becomes a Law

The Steps

1. Drafting & Introduction

A legislator has an idea for a Bill, usually from a constituent.

The legislative members present the idea and requests that it be drafted into a bill. In January, when the General Assembly meets, the House Representatives and Senators introduce their bills in their respective chambers.

2. Committee Action

The bill is referred to a committee. The members of the committee debate the issues and decide what action to take. This is when the public may speak for or against the bill.

After listening to the testimony, the committee will vote to recommend the passage of the bill or the defeat of the bill. The committee may also offer changes (called amendments). If the committee recommends passage of the bill, it then goes back to the chamber where it was introduced.

3. "Floor" Action

Once the bill passes in committee, the title of the bill must be read three times in the chamber in which it was introduced (House or Senate).

First Reading: The bill is read by the Clerk.

Second Reading: The bill may be amended after it has been read a second time. The bill is then debated on the Floor.

Third Reading: During the third reading, the bill may be debated and a final vote is taken.

4. Voting

Once the bill passes in the chamber in which it was introduced, it is then sent to the other chamber (House or Senate). In the other chamber, a similar process of committee action, floor debate, and voting takes place. If the bill passes both the House of Representatives and the Senate, it is then sent to the Governor.

If the bill is amended by the other chamber, it is then returned to the body from which it originated for approval of the amendment.

5. Governor's Action

Once passed in both chambers, the bill must be approved by the governor.

The Governor may:

  • Sign the bill into law.
  • Amend the bill and return it to the General Assembly for approval.
  • Veto the bill and return it to the General Assembly, where the House of Representatives and the Senate may override the Governor’s veto with a simple majority vote of both chambers.
  • Take no action and the bill becomes a law without his signature.

6. Law

Bills that become laws during the Regular Session are effective 90 days after the final, official day of session, unless otherwise specified.

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Bills are introduced every session that began when an Arkansan approached their legislator.


In fact, some laws even began as ideas from students.  This video shows a recent example:

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Bills introduced in the state legislature begin with either with the letters “HB” or “SB”.

Bills introduced in the United States House of Representatives are preceded by "H.R.". Bills introduced in the United States Senate are assigned sequential numbers preceded by "S.".

Under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, all powers not granted to the federal government are reserved for the states and the people.

Any immigration laws, federal tax adjustments, national security or foreign relations issues are addressed by the federal government in Washington DC.

Most education, criminal justice, foster care, and highway legislation is addressed at the state level.

While it is the federal government’s responsibility to fund Medicaid, many of the implementation decisions, including Arkansas Works, are made at the state level.

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Categories Bills & Resolutions

Personalize Your Bill Tracking Experience

Create a new user account or log in to customize your bill tracking experience:

  • Add Senate or House Bills to by number
  • Track Bill status in current session
  • Make personal notes about each bill
  • Group bills into user created groups
  • Create custom reports for each bill or group of bills
  • Automatically receive a daily email of changes to the bills you are tracking

Personalized Bill Tracking

The Bureau

Bills & Resolutions can be found on the Bureau of Legislative Research's website. 

The Bureau is operated for the benefit of and the assistance to every member of the General Assembly.  The Bureau serves the members of the General Assembly on a nonpartisan and impartial basis.  The Bureau researches issues for legislators, prepares legislation, and may provide advice concerning constitutional, statutory, and practical issues concerning the legislation.

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Categories Bills & Resolutions

Most Recent Activity

See which bills are active today or yesterday.

Recent Bill Activity

The Bureau

Bills & Resolutions can be found on the Bureau of Legislative Research's website. The Bureau is operated for the benefit of and the assistance to every member of the General Assembly.  The Bureau serves the members of the General Assembly on a nonpartisan and impartial basis.  The Bureau researches issues for legislators, prepares legislation, and may provide advice concerning constitutional, statutory, and practical issues concerning the legislation.

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Categories Bills & Resolutions

Most Recently Filed

See which bills have been filed today or yesterday.

Recently Filed Bills

The Bureau

Bills & Resolutions can be found on the Bureau of Legislative Research's website. The Bureau is operated for the benefit of and the assistance to every member of the General Assembly.  The Bureau serves the members of the General Assembly on a nonpartisan and impartial basis.  The Bureau researches issues for legislators, prepares legislation, and may provide advice concerning constitutional, statutory, and practical issues concerning the legislation.

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Categories Bills & Resolutions

Search Bills

The Bureau

Bills & Resolutions can be found on the Bureau of Legislative Research's website. 

The Bureau is operated for the benefit of and the assistance to every member of the General Assembly.  The Bureau serves the members of the General Assembly on a nonpartisan and impartial basis.  The Bureau researches issues for legislators, prepares legislation, and may provide advice concerning constitutional, statutory, and practical issues concerning the legislation.

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Categories Bills & Resolutions

Searching By Range

View bills through categories such as:

  • House Bills
  • House Joint Resolutions
  • Senate Bills
  • Senate Joint Resolutions

Bills by Range

The Bureau

Bills & Resolutions can be found on the Bureau of Legislative Research's website. The Bureau is operated for the benefit of and the assistance to every member of the General Assembly.  The Bureau serves the members of the General Assembly on a nonpartisan and impartial basis.  The Bureau researches issues for legislators, prepares legislation, and may provide advice concerning constitutional, statutory, and practical issues concerning the legislation.

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