The steps

Legislative sessions in Massachusetts are two years. The 2017-2018 session starts in January 2017 and runs through July 2018. Each session, the process starts at the beginning.

The process:

  • We introduce the bill and obtain sponsors. In the 2015-2016 session, we obtained 58 sponsors, up from 39 sponsors in the 2013-2014 session, 13 in the 2011-2012 session, and one in the 2009-2010 session.
  • We file the bill.
  • The Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development holds a public hearing, where they listen to testimony.
  • If approved, the bill moves to the House. State reps examine the bill for legality, constitutionality, and the duplication or contradiction of existing law. The bill then heads back to the House or Senate floor for debate and amendments.
  • If approved, the bill moves onto the Engrossment Committee at the Third Reading.
  • If approved, the Senate considers the bill through three readings and engrossment. If amended, the bill returns to the House for another vote. If the bill is rejected, three members of each branch draft a compromise bill.
  • The bill gets enacted by the legislature.
  • The bill gets signed by the governor. Ninety days after the governor's signature, the bill becomes law.