Making the cut

Out of hundreds of bills filed, few make it all the way to becoming state law

Turning a bill into law is a complicated process. A bill becomes a law if a majority of the members of both chambers - the House and the Senate - vote to approve it and the governor signs it. If the governor vetoes it, the bill can still succeed if the Legislature then goes ahead and overrides his veto with a two-thirds majority in both legislative bodies.

Most bills never make it into law. As of this week, 869 bills have been introduced by the House and 316 in the Senate during the 2023-2024 biennium.

The House has passed 145 bills; the Senate, 134. Of those bills, 108 have cleared both bodies. And of those, 101 have been enacted into law, six without the signature of Gov. Phil Scott.

Scott override nine bills. Two have returned to Senate committees. Four are among the 101 new laws. And one veto - an update to the Bottle Bill - was sustained.

Four new bills await the governor's consideration.

This News item by was written for The Commons.

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