The Ohio Statehouse Museum







  • Steps to becoming a law
    House IntroSenators/Representatives put their ideas into writing in the form of a bill. Once a bill is drafted, it is introduced and given a unique number before being assigned to a committee that handles bills on that topic. To become law in Ohio, a bill must receive three "considerations" in each house of the General Assembly. Introduction of a bill constitutes "first consideration."
  • House IntroThe sources for bills are diverse. A legislator may introduce legislation to solve the problems of people or groups in their district; a citizens' group can bring an issue to the attention of a legislator, or the governor may request legislation. A bill can be introduced in either house by a member of the Ohio House of Representatives or the Ohio Senate Legislators.
  • Photo by: Ohio Government Telecommunications
    House IntroBills are referred to committee for action following the introduction, a bill moves to the Reference Committee. The purpose of this committee is to assign the bill to a standing committee.
    Photo by: Ohio Government Telecommunications
  • Photo by: Columbus DispatchIn a standing committee legislators discuss the issues of the bill with one another and with individuals or representatives of interest groups. Through this process legislators may make changes to the bill (called amending the bill)
    Photo by: Columbus Dispatch
  • Bill Idea
    Bills favorably reported out of a standing committee are sent to the Rules Committee. This committee decides what bills will be considered by the entire membership of the House or Senate and schedules them to appear on the calendar for a vote.
  • Photo by: Columbus Dispatch
    Bills are often debated and amended on the floor, according to the procedures of each house. A bill must receive a majority of votes to pass.
    Photo by: Columbus Dispatch
  • Bill Idea
    If the bill has passed, the bill then moves to the other house, where the committee assignment and hearing process begin all over again.
  • Photo by: Ohio Government Telecommunications
    Senate IntroBills are referred to committee for action following the introduction, a bill moves to the Reference Committee. The purpose of this committee is to assign the bill to a standing committee. In a standing committee legislators discuss the issues of the bill with one another and with individuals or representatives of interest groups.
  • Bill Idea
    Bills favorably reported out of a standing committee are sent to the Rules Committee. This committee decides what bills will be considered by the entire membership of the House or Senate and schedules them to appear on the calendar for a vote.
  • Bill Idea
    Both houses must agree...If the bill is amended in any way by the second house, it is sent to the house of origin for approval of the amendments, known as "concurrence.“….
  • Bill IdeaIf the original house votes down the changes, House and Senate leadership appoint a conference committee made up of members of both bodies to reconcile their differences. At the end of this process both houses must be in agreement on the final content of the bill.
  • Bill Idea
    A bill that passed both houses is sent to the Governor in the form of an "act." The Governor can sign the act into law or veto it. If the Governor takes no action within 10 days, the act becomes law without his or her signature…
  • Bill Idea
    A Governor's veto sends the act back to the house of origin with the Governor's written objections. A three-fifths vote of the membership of both houses is required to override the Governor's veto.
  • Bill Idea
    If the bill makes its way through all of these steps it then becomes a law!


Click the tabs above or the arrows to advance through the steps. If you click the start button it will walk you through the steps automatically.

How a bill becomes a law


House Intro

Senators/Representatives put their ideas into writing in the form of a bill. Once a bill is drafted, it is introduced and given a unique number before being assigned to a committee that handles bills on that topic. To become law in Ohio, a bill must receive three "considerations" in each house of the General Assembly. Introduction of a bill constitutes "first consideration."

House Intro

The sources for bills are diverse. A legislator may introduce legislation to solve the problems of people or groups in their district; a citizens' group can bring an issue to the attention of a legislator, or the governor may request legislation. A bill can be introduced in either house by a member of the Ohio House of Representatives or the Ohio Senate Legislators.

House Intro

Bills are referred to committee for action following the introduction, a bill moves to the Reference Committee. The purpose of this committee is to assign the bill to a standing committee. In a standing committee legislators discuss the issues of the bill with one another and with individuals or representatives of interest groups.

House Intro

In a standing committee legislators discuss the issues of the bill with one another and with individuals or representatives of interest groups. Through this process legislators may make changes to the bill (called amending the bill)


Bill Idea

Bills favorably reported out of a standing committee are sent to the Rules Committee. This committee decides what bills will be considered by the entire membership of the House or Senate and schedules them to appear on the calendar for a vote.


Bill Idea


Bills are often debated and amended on the floor, according to the procedures of each house. A bill must receive a majority of votes to pass.


Bill Idea


If the bill has passed, the bill then moves to the other house, where the committee assignment and hearing process begin all over again.


Senate Intro

Bills are referred to committee for action following the introduction, a bill moves to the Reference Committee. The purpose of this committee is to assign the bill to a standing committee. In a standing committee legislators discuss the issues of the bill with one another and with individuals or representatives of interest groups.


Bill Idea


Bills favorably reported out of a standing committee are sent to the Rules Committee. This committee decides what bills will be considered by the entire membership of the House or Senate and schedules them to appear on the calendar for a vote.


Bill Idea


Both houses must agree...If the bill is amended in any way by the second house, it is sent to the house of origin for approval of the amendments, known as "concurrence.“….


Bill Idea


If the original house votes down the changes, House and Senate leadership appoint a conference committee made up of members of both bodies to reconcile their differences. At the end of this process both houses must be in agreement on the final content of the bill.


Bill Idea


A bill that passed both houses is sent to the Governor in the form of an "act." The Governor can sign the act into law or veto it. If the Governor takes no action within 10 days, the act becomes law without his or her signature…


Bill Idea


A Governor's veto sends the act back to the house of origin with the Governor's written objections. A three-fifths vote of the membership of both houses is required to override the Governor's veto.


Bill Idea


If the bill makes its way through all of these steps it then becomes a law!