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Consent Calendar Digital Explainer

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Let’s say you’re following a bill as it moves through the state legislature. It’s scheduled for a hearing on the Senate floor under the heading “Consent Calendar.”

What does that mean?

Well—a bill needs to meet three qualifications before the chair of a legislative committee can place it on the consent calendar:

First: the bill had a complete hearing in committee…

Second: there was no opposing testimony in that committee hearing

And third: the committee unanimously passed the bill.

While presiding over the senate session, Lt. Governor Larry Rhoden explains the kinds of bills that usually land on the consent calendar.

“It’s basically things that are simple changes that are no-brainers. And then instead of debating each one, they’re put together. I will ask for questions. Once the questions are answered, we will take one vote on all the items in the consent calendar.”

But it only takes one member of the house or senate to move that a bill is taken off consent.

Then it’s rescheduled for debate on another day…and you’re back to watching the Senate agenda for that bill number.