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Encyclopedia > Bill (proposed law)

A bill is a proposed new law introduced within a legislature that has not been ratified, adopted, or received assent. Once a bill has become law, it is thereafter an act; but in popular usage (or even in moments of scholarly imprecision) the two terms are often treated interchangeably. Bills have a sponsor and sometimes cosponsors. Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ... A legislatureis a type of representative deliberative assembly with the power to ratify laws. ... Ratification is the act of giving official sanction to a formal document such as a treaty or constitution. ... // The granting of Royal Assent is the formal method by which a constitutional monarch completes the legislative process of lawmaking by formally assenting to an Act of Parliament. ... The Statute of Grand Duchy of Lithuania A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ...


Types of bills

Bills can be divided into:

  • public bills, which apply to the general population
  • private bills, which only apply to a single person or to a select group of people. If a private bill is punitive in nature, it is called a bill of attainder.
  • hybrid bills, which combine elements of both public and private bills. Note that the concept of hybrid bills is not widely recognised outside the United Kingdom (in particular, it is expressly not recognised in Canada).
  • local bills, which affect only a certain locality, and are often proposed by local government to the legislature

Sometimes other classifications of bills are used. For example, under many constitutions particular rules apply to appropriation bills. Commonly, in a bicameral system, the weaker chamber will have reduced powers with respect to appropriation bills than it has with other bills. In the legislative process, a public bill is a bill which proposes a law of general application throughout the jurisdiction in which it is proposed, and which if enacted will hence become a public law or public act. ... A private bill is the term used for legislation that originates from a particular member of a legislature or parliament or from a member of the public. ... A bill of attainder (also known as an act or writ of attainder) is an act of legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime, and punishing them, without benefit of a trial. ... A hybrid bill is a public bill which affects the private interests of a particular person or organization. ... Local governments are administrative offices that are smaller than a state or province. ... An appropriation bill or supply bill is a legislative motion (bill) which authorizes the government to spend money. ... In government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. ...

Numbering of bills in the United States

In the United States, bills can have the same number because every two years, at the start of odd-numbered years, the United States Congress recommences numbering from 1. Each two-year session is called a Congress.[1] Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives President of the Senate President pro tempore Dick Cheney, (R) since January 20, 2001 Robert C. Byrd, (D) since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political...


In most constitutional systems, legislation once passed by the legislature requires the assent of the executive to become law (such as the Monarch, President or Governor). Offer and acceptance analysis is a traditional approach in contract law used to determine whether an agreement exists between two parties. ...

In parliamentary systems this is normally a formality (since the executive is under the de facto control of the legislature), although in rare cases assent may be refused or reserved.

In presidential systems, the power of assent is used as a political tool by the executive; then it is known as a veto. In presidential systems, the legislature often has the power to override the veto of the executive by means of a supermajority. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A supermajority or a qualified majority is a requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level or type of support which exceeds a simple majority in order to have effect. ...

In constitutional monarchies, certain matters may be covered by the royal prerogative (for instance in the United Kingdom these include as payments to the Royal Family, succession to the Throne, and the Monarch's exercise of their prerogative powers). The legislature may have significantly less power to introduce such bills, and may require the approval of the monarch or government of the day. The Royal Prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognised in common law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy as belonging to the Crown alone. ...


Many criticize the size and quantity of the bills passed in United States Congress. Bills like the Patriot Act are hundreds of pages long and are passed without copies being made available to even the legislators who are going to vote on the bill. Because of this, Downsize DC has proposed legislation called the Read the Bills Act to require each house of Congress, in the presence of a quorum, to read any bill that they vote yes on. This article needs cleanup. ... Downsize DC is an organization which aims to limit the size of government in America through awareness and petitioning government. ... The Read the Bills Act is legislation written by Downsize DC, a non-profit organization focused on decreasing the size of the federal government. ...

See also

This is a list of legislatures by country, whether parliamentary or congressional, that act as a plenary general assembly of representatives with the power to legislate. ... A white paper is an authoritative report. ...

External links

Hong Kong

New Zealand

  • List of current bills

United Kingdom

United States

Official language(s) English Capital Raleigh Largest city Charlotte Largest metro area Charlotte metro area Area  Ranked 28th  - Total 53,865 sq mi (139,509 km²)  - Width 150 miles (240 km)  - Length 560[1] miles (900 km)  - % water 9. ...


  1. ^ GovTrack: Bill Search

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  Results from FactBites:
How a Bill Becomes Law (1117 words)
Bills enter the legislative process either through the House of Delegates or the Senate, but to become laws, bills must pass both chambers and avoid a governor’s veto.
After the bill is numbered, the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Delegates assigns the bill to a committee or committees to be considered.
Some bills “die in committee”, meaning the committee did not have enough time to take up the issue or the committee members decided the bill should not be recommended to the full membership for action.
Bill (proposed law) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1011 words)
A bill is a proposed new law introduced within a legislature that has not been ratified, adopted, or received assent.
Bills relating to these matters may not be introduced or discussed in parliament without the Monarch's permission; in effect, this means that such bills cannot be introduced without the permission of the government of the day.
Depending on the type of bill, either a simple majority or a supermajority of either 60 percent or 2/3 is needed for the bill to pass the chamber.
  More results at FactBites »



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