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The Legislative Process

Note: This is a simplified version of the South Carolina Legislative Process for childhood education purposes. A more detailed version can be viewed here.

First Reading

The First Reading is often referred to as the "Introduction" since this is the beginning of the process of a Bill becoming an Act. 

Second Reading

After a period when all the members are allowed to debate or amend the bill, a vote is held to give the Bill second reading and move it forward in the process.

Ratification

After both bodies have given the Bill three readings and the Clerks have signed, the bill can be ratified. After ratification, the Bill is sent to the Governor. 

Committee Reference

Bill is referred to a committee that specializes in whatever subject it covers.

Third Reading

There must be at least one legislative day between the second and third reading. This is when members can further debate or amend the bill. After the reading, it is signed by the Clerk of the chamber and sent to the other body.

Governor

The Governor can then sign the Bill to make it an Act, or if the Bill is not signed by the Governor after five days it will become an Act.

Committee Report

Once the committee has finishing looking over the bill, it creates a report detailing any recommendations.

Second Chamber

The Bill must go through all the previous steps again in the second chamber.

Act

A Bill that has become an Act has the force of law and can be referred to as statewide legislation. Unless specified, an Act will become effective on the 20th day after the approval by the Governor.