What does the legislature do?
The Legislature is the group of men and women that work to create laws that govern us. Every member of the legislature was chosen by the citizens of South Carolina to represent them and the area they live. These areas are called districts and members have to live in their district to get elected.
The South Carolina legislature is divided into two parts called bodies; the House of Representatives and the Senate. Together they form what we call the General Assembly. The House of Representatives has 124 members. The Senate has 46 members.
Every year from January to May, the General Assembly goes into session where they make new laws and change old ones. Each member is also a part of several committees where they study how law changes will affect the state.
Any member can make suggestions for new laws. These suggestions are called bills. After a bill is suggested, it is read for everyone and then sent to a committee to be studied. Committees can accept, change or reject a bill. When a bill is accepted by everyone of one body, it is considered passed.
The passed bill must then be sent to the other body of the General Assembly for their review. For example, if a bill is passed in the House, it must be sent to the Senate for their review.
If a bill is passed by both parties, it is then sent to the Governor for their signature. When the Governor signs a bill it becomes a law. The signed bill is then called an act. All the laws are combined to form the South Carolina Code of Laws.