Legislative Session

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Does a Bill Become a Law?

Legislative session convenes on the first Monday in February to the last Friday in May. 

Disclaimer: There is no room for formal testimony from the public at any point in the Oklahoma legislative process, so legislators do not have to hear from people impacted by their bills. This is why it is crucial to contact our lawmakers directly to make our voices heard. 

  1. Bill is filed and assigned to a committee in the chamber of origin. (First Reading)
    • All bills must receive at least three separate readings in both chambers to become law.

    • Every bill filed receives a first reading, but not every bill gets assigned a committee.  

  2. Committee hears the bill. (Second Reading)
    • Committee members vote to approve the bill, amend it, or send it to subcommittee for further discussion.

    • Bills that do not get a favorable vote are dead.  

  3. Floor hears the bill. (Third Reading)
    • Before a bill is heard on the floor, it must be placed on the floor agenda. Bills are usually placed on the agenda the night before. 

    • During this time, the whole chamber asks questions, debates, and amends the bill.

    • Bills that do not get a favorable vote are dead. 

  4. Repeat steps 1-3.
    • Bills must get at least three separate readings in the opposite chamber. 

    • If the opposite chamber makes changes to the bill, the bill is sent back to the chamber of origin for consideration of the amendment.

  5. Conference Committee hears bill if neither side agrees on amendments. 
    • Both chambers must pass identical versions of the same bill in order for it to go to the Governor's desk. 

    • If both chambers do not approve the amendments in committee or it is not considered by the full house, then the bill is dead. 

  6. Sent to Governor.
    • Governor has three options: (1) sign immediately, (2) wait for it to go into effect after five days, or (3) veto bill.
    • Legislature can override veto with 2/3 vote. 

See what we are tracking under the dome.