Saturday, April 18, 2015

Session Live

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the underlining and overstriking in bill and amendment text mean?Required by the rules of both houses of the Legislature, underlining and overstriking indicate changes being made to the text of existing law or an existing constitutional provision. Underlined text is new language and overstriking indicates text being removed from existing law.
What is the difference between an engrossed bill and an enrolled bill?An engrossed bill is a bill which has been amended. A bill may be engrossed many times. An enrolled bill, which may or may not have been engrossed, is a bill that has passed both houses of the legislature in identical form and has been converted into an act for presentation to the Governor or Secretary of State.
How can I tell the difference between a House and a Senate bill?
House and Senate bills are numbered in serial order as they are filed. House bills receive odd numbers (1, 3, 5, …) and are prefixed by "H" or "HB"; Senate bills receive even numbers (2, 4, 6, ...) and are prefixed by "S" or "SB."
How often do the houses elect officers? Every two years the Legislature convenes for the sole purpose of organizing each house. At this organization session, held fourteen days after the general election, Members are sworn in, officers are elected, rules are adopted, and the committee appointment process is begun.
What does the CS, CS1, CS2, etc., mean on the end of a bill number?
“CS” denotes a committee substitute in the House or Senate, which is a substitute bill proposed by either a House or Senate committee for a bill considered and amended by that committee.  Each House committee or Senate committee to which a bill is referred may adopt a substitute for that bill.  If the previous committee of reference adopted a substitute for the bill, the next committee may adopt a substitute for that substitute.  Occasionally, there will be a substitute for a substitute for a substitute for a substitute for a bill (CS/CS/CS/CS or C4).  A House or Senate committee substitute may also combine multiple bills from the same house.
What happens when the Governor vetoes a bill?When the Governor vetoes (objects to) a bill, it is sent back to its house of origin. It is available for consideration until the end of the current session or, if the Legislature is not in session when the bill is received, until the end of the next regular session. If two-thirds of the members of each house vote to override (set aside) the Governor's objections, the bill becomes a law.
What is the deadline for the Governor to sign bills?While the legislature is in session, the Constitution allows a 7-day period following presentation of a bill to the Governor within which to sign or veto the bill. If the Legislature adjourns sine die before an act is presented to the Governor or while an act is in the Governor’s possession, the Governor has 15 days from the date of presentation in which to take action. For more information, go to Article III, section 8 of the Florida Constitution.
What are the different types and versions of bills?Different types and versions of bills include: Appropriation, Claim, Combined, Committee, Enrolled, Engrossed, General, Joint Resolution, Local, Memorial, Reviser, Resolution, and Trust Fund.  For more information see the Legislative Glossary.
What is a linked bill?A bill that is contingent upon passage of another bill within that chamber is a linked bill. A trust fund bill, a bill providing a public record exemption, or an implementing bill may be a linked bill.
When does the regular legislative session begin and end?
The regular legislative session starts on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March for a period not to exceed 60 days. However, every ten years the regular session is moved to earlier in the year in order to reapportion legislative districts. The dates for the 60-day period of this regular session are fixed by law.
What are the meanings of "identical," "similar," and "compare" as they relate to the companion checking of bills?A companion is a bill introduced in one house that is identical or similar to a bill introduced in the other house. Use of companion bills permits their concurrent analysis and deliberation by both houses. Companion bills which are identical word-for-word, including titles, are marked "identical" in bill history. However, Resolutions and Concurrent Resolutions are considered identical when the only difference is the word "House" or "Senate." Companion bills are marked "similar" in bill history if they are substantially similar in text or have substantial portions of text that are identical or largely the same. If one word is different, the bills are "similar." Companion bills with selected provisions that are similar in text are marked "compare" in bill history.
What does the bill action "in messages" mean?"In messages" refers to the location of a bill passed by a chamber en route to or residing in the other chamber for consideration.
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