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Frequently Asked Questions about the Legislative Process

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I'm not familiar with the legislative process. How does a bill become a law?

Nebraska's lawmaking is described in detail at Lawmaking in Nebraska.

Is there a glossary of legislative terms I might not be familiar with?

Glossary of Legislative Terms

What is the difference between a bill and a resolution?

A bill changes the Nebraska Statutes and must go through the lawmaking process from introduction to final reading. A resolution, on the other hand, pertains to an internal rule of the legislature, official declaration, interim study, ballot initiative or a constitutional amendment.

What bills and hearings are scheduled for today?

Floor agendas and committee hearing schedules are available on the legislative calendar.

How do I know whether a bill sent to a committee has had a hearing?

Enter the bill number in the quicksearch. If a hearing has been scheduled, you will see an entry for Notice of hearing... including a date. That is the date the committee hearing will take place. For example, a hearing scheduled for January 28, 2008 will read Notice of hearing January 28, 2008. If there is no entry for Notice of hearing, then the committee has yet to schedule the hearing date.

How do I track a bill's progress?

A search for a bill will provide the most recent status of the bill's progress through the legislative process. BillTracker, a service provided by, allows for the tracking of multiple bills at once.

When do passed laws go into effect?

Bills passed go into effect three months after the legislature adjourns, unless they include an effective date or emergency clause. Bills with an emergency clause become effective as soon as the governor signs the bill, the glegislature overrides the governor's veto, or five days pass after the legisalture approves a bill and the governor fails to act on it.

When are the Nebraska Revised Statutes updated?

The Revisor of Statutes updates the Nebraska Statutes following each legislative session.

When does the Legislative session convene and adjourn?

The Nebraska Constitution requires that the legisalture convene annually on the first Wednesday after the first Monday in January. Session in odd-numbered years last 90 days, whereas sessions in even-numbered years are 60 days. Adjournment dates vary based on how the Speaker shedules the 90- or 60-day session.

How many days are required for a special session?

Seven days are required to enact a law, but less days for a constitutional amendment.

How does the legislature elect officers?

The legislature elects officers by a vote of the body. Legislative officers must receive a majority of votes to be elected.

What are the rules of the legislature?

Rules of the Legislature

How do I get a law changed?

The best way to change a law is to formulate an alternative policy, find others who support your cause and approach a senator with your idea.

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