FROM BILL TO LAW
1) BILL IS DRAFTED. The legislator's idea is put into the form of a bill, usually by a staff member of the Legislative Research Council.
2) INTRODUCTION & ASSIGNMENT OF NUMBER. To introduce the bill, the house member deposits seven copies of it with the bill clerk in the house. This must be done at least two hours prior to the opening of the daily session. The bill clerk then assigns a number to the bill. House bills are numbered consecutively beginning with No. 1001. In the senate, bills are numbered consecutively beginning with No. 1. Once a bill is numbered, it cannot be withdrawn.
3) FIRST READING. The rules of the legislature dictate that each bill must be read or presented twice by number and title. The first of these occurs upon introduction by chief clerk of the house.
4) COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENT & PRINTING. After the first reading, the speaker of the house assigns the bill to a standing committee. The bill is then sent to the printer where several hundred copies are made for distribution to legislators, legislative staff, lobbyists, and any other interested parties.
5) COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION & REPORT. At this point, the committee to which the bill was assigned begins its work reviewing the bill. Public testimony is taken, and members of the committee discuss and vote on the bill. Committee members may also amend the bill. A report of the committee's actions is then submitted to the entire house by the chair.
6) SECOND READING. If the bill is acted upon favorably in committee, it then goes back to the house for its second reading. By rule, the second reading takes place at least one legislative day after the house receives the committee report on the bill. Once again the chief clerk presents the bill by number and title.
7) DEBATE & VOTE. Now the bill comes before the entire membership of the house. Members use this opportunity to speak on the bill, offer amendments, and ultimately cast their votes for or against it. The bill passes if a majority of the members of the house vote in favor of it.
8) ENGROSSED. If the bill is amended on the house floor, it must be engrossed before it moves on to the senate. This means the amendments are added to the text of the bill and it is put into the exact form it was in when it received final passage in the house. Bills are also engrossed before their second readings if amendments were placed on them in committee.
9) FIRST READING. The bill begins its journey in the senate. Its number and title are read by the secretary of the senate.
10) COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENT. Next the bill is assigned to a standing committee by the president of the senate.
11) COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION & REPORT. As in the other house, the committee takes public testimony on the bill, discusses it, and votes on it. Amendments may also be added. The chair of the committee reports the committee's action on the bill to the senate. If the bill is not supported by a majority of the committee members, it does not proceed further.
12) SECOND READING. At least one legislative day after the senate receives the committee report and after the bill is engrossed, if necessary, it is given second reading by the secretary of the senate.
13) DEBATE & VOTE. The entire senate is now given the chance to speak on the bill, offer amendments, and vote on it. If a majority of the senate votes in favor of the bill, it moves on.
14) ENGROSSED. If the bill did not undergo any changes in the senate, it is engrossed and moves ahead in the process.
15) ENROLLED, SIGNED BY SPEAKER & CLERK, SIGNED BY THE PRESIDENT & SECRETARY. After the bill passes both houses in the same form, it is enrolled. Enrollment is the process whereby all amendments and corrections are incorporated into the bill, and it is put into its final form. Following enrollment, the bill is signed by the presiding officer of each house.
16) GOVERNOR. Next, the bill is delivered to the Governor, who, in most cases, determines its fate. In this regard, the Governor has several options, all of which are clearly stipulated in the state constitution.
17) APPROVAL. If a bill is delivered to the Governor while the legislature is still in session, it becomes law if he signs the bill or takes no action within five days of the delivery date. If a bill is delivered to the Governor within five days of a recess or adjournment, it becomes law if he signs the bill or takes no action on it within fifteen days of the date of recess or adjournment.
18) VETO. To show his disapproval of a bill, the Governor can veto it within the time frame stated above. This action prevents the bill from becoming law, at least temporarily, and sends it back to the legislature. Bills with errors in style or form may also be returned to the legislature by the Governor with specific recommendations for change.
19) CHIEF CLERK OF THE HOUSE. Since the bill originated in the house, the vetoed bill, along with a message from the Governor explaining why he vetoed it, is delivered to the house.
20) LEGISLATURE CONSIDERS VETO. Members of the legislature review the Governor's veto message and then must decide whether to override the veto and let the bill become law despite the Governor's objections. In order for a veto to be overridden, two-thirds of the members of each house must vote in favor of the override. Since the bill is a house bill, the house votes first. If two-thirds of the house members support the override, the bill then goes to the senate for a vote. If the house does not vote to override the veto, the veto is sustained and the legislation is dead. In cases where the bill was vetoed due to a style and form error, the bill becomes a law if a majority of the legislature agrees to the style and form changes suggested by the Governor.
21) SECRETARY OF STATE. All bills enacted into law are ultimately filed with the Secretary of State. This includes bills signed by the Governor, those he took no action on, and those which the Governor vetoed, but the veto was overridden by the legislature.
22) PROMULGATION OF LAW. In the end, the Secretary of State delivers a copy of each new law to the code counsel in the Legislative Research Council, who is responsible for publishing the new laws. They are compiled in the Session Laws of South Dakota, an annual publication that is given to all legislators and which is available for purchase from the SD Bureau of Administration. The code counsel is also responsible for adding the new laws to the South Dakota Codified Laws, a multiple-volume compilation of all the current laws of the state. The "code," as it is often called, is on the shelves of most public libraries across the state. It is also available on CD-Rom. New laws are incorporated into existing law within a few months following each legislative session.
The state constitution provides that no law can take effect sooner than ninety days following the legislative session. In addition, existing state law sets the effective date of bills passed during the regular session at July 1, unless the new law itself lists a later effective date. There are, however, exceptions to this.