State Legal Policy Pennsylvania State Law Making

Pennsylvania, as according to its state constitution, instituted a law making system which required the collaboration and agreement of its General Assembly, which is comprised of two bodies. These two bodies are the House of Representatives and the Senate, which contain fifty legislators and two hundred and three Representatives respectively.

When the state wants to pass a new law into existence or to amend a law already in existence, the legislators in the House of Representatives draft a bill, a written proposal of the law or amendment. The drafting of a bill is initiated when legislators with similar interests congregate; they dictate the ideas that comprise the bill according to the will of their constituents. Experts at the Legal Reference Bureau then revise and properly format the bill so that it can be presented to the House.

The Speaker of the House then assigns a standing committee to contemplate if the bill in question should continue in the legislative process. If the bill is deemed worthy, it continues into the peer review stage, if it is not, the bill may be amended and resubmitted. Also at this time in the process the bill is made available to the public.

The two parties then congregate separately to review the bill and elaborate on whether they should cast their support for the bill or speak out against it. The legislators also prepare to argue their own proposed amendments or revisements for the bill.

The bill then moves on to the floor of the House. Over the span of three seperate days, the legislators familiarize themselves with the final proposal of the bill, prepare their arguments, and finally the bill is debated and voted upon. If the vote passes and the bill is approved, it moves on to the senate, if not, the bill can once again be amended and resubmitted.

If the bill reaches the Senate, it is again subjected to more scrutiny from committees, debated on separately by the two parties, and moves on to the floor of the Senate. Pending the approval of the bill, it is signed by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate.

Before finally becoming a piece of official state legislation, the bill finds itself before the Governor, who signs it into state law and issues it an act number. Alternatively, the Governor can also exercise his veto, however, this can be overturned with enough votes from the House and Senate.