What to Expect: Committee of Conference

What to Expect: Committee of Conference

To become a law, a bill must be passed in the same form by both the House and Senate before it is sent to the Governor. If a bill has been amended by the body where it did not originate (like if the House amends a Senate bill), it is sent back to the originating body.

The amendments from the other body are printed in the House or Senate Calendar and are voted on by the originating body in one of three ways:

  1. The originating body may approve the amendments made by the other body; the bill is then sent to the Governor.
  2. The originating body may disapprove changes made by the other body but express a willingness to seek a compromise. In that case, it requests a Committee of Conference between the two bodies. The Speaker of the House and the Senate President then appoint members to a Conference Committee to iron out the differences.
  3. The originating body does not concur with the other body's amendments and does not request a committee of conference; the bill dies.

The chairs of the committee must give notice of the time and place of meeting one day in advance of such meeting to the House Clerk's office so that the meeting can be posted. A Committee of Conference, which is made up of representatives from the House and Senate, will meet over the course of a few days to attempt to reach a compromise. If they don't reach a compromise, the bill dies.

Committee of Conference Committee Members are posted on the GenCourt website.


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