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Gavel and weights and balanceBills and Laws


An idea for a law can come from anyone - an individual, consumer group, professional association, government agency, a legislator, or the Governor.  


​A bill, the most common type of measure, is a proposal for a law.  The path of a bill, from the time it's an idea to the time it arrives at the Governor's desk for approval, may follow a path with many detours.   A bill may be introduced in either the Senate or the House with the exception of revenue bills which must originate in the House. The following is an example of how an idea becomes law.

Steps of How an Idea Becomes Law

This example uses the House of Representative as the Bill's chamber of origin.

  • An idea to change, amend or create a new law is presented to a Legislative Member.
  • The Member decides to sponsor the bill and introduce it to their respective chamber, and requests that the attorneys in the Legislative Counsel's office draft the bill in the proper legal language.
  • The bill is then presented to the Secretary of Senate (Senate Chamber) or Chief Clerk of the House (House Chamber), who assigns the bill a number and sends it back to the Legislative Counsel's office to verify it is in proper legal form and style.
  • The bill is then sent to the Legislative Chamber for its first reading.
  • After the bill's first reading, the Speaker refers it to a committee. The bill is also forwarded to the Legislative Fiscal Officer and Legislative Revenue Officer for determination of fiscal or revenue impact the measure might have.
  • View all of the steps of "How an Idea Becomes Law".

The staff of the Oregon Legislature cannot respond to public requests for legal advice. To understand and protect your legal rights, consult your private lawyer. For reference assistance, questions about the legislature, legislative process, or other government agencies, please email, or call 1-800-332-2313.​

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