How a Bill Becomes a Law

Any person can initiate a bill, BUT a legislator or legislative committee needs to write and introduce the bill.  The process for a bill to become a law from start to finish is usually long and involved.  Bills can be introduced at the federal, as well as state level.  The processes are similar.  


At the State level, a bill introduced in the Assembly is assigned a number of AB# and a bill introduced in the Senate is assigned a number  of S#.  The following flow chart shows a short summary of the Wisconsin State process:


Only about one of five bills actually pass into law because there are many places during the process that the bill could "die" or be defeated.  The best place to make an impact on the outcome of a bill is early on during the Public Hearings.

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To learn more about how a bill becomes law, checkout the following sites:

bulletHow a Bill Becomes a Law (19 page pdf file from the Wisconsin Legislature Website)
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bulletMaking Laws in Wisconsin (for kids)

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