State Legislative Process
In New Jersey we have two legislative houses—the Senate and the Assembly. Every town in New Jersey is in a specific Legislative District. Each District has one senator and two assembly members. These are not to be confused with your 2 Federal Senators (Curently Senator Robert Menendez & Senator Frank Lautenberg) and your 1 Federal Congressman, by specific District. (Find Your Legislator.)
When a bill is introduced, it is goes to a Senate Committee or an Assembly Committee (depending on who introduces it: a Senator or an Assembly member). Senate bills are designated by an "S" and Assembly bills by an "A"—for example, S478 and A2354. If a bill is designated as S478/A2354 that means an identical bill has been introduced in the Senate and the Assembly. They are referred to as companion bills. Ideally, you want to have a Senate and an Assembly version going through the process simultaneously. Once a bill is voted on favorably by a committee, it then passes on to its respective house for a full vote. When the bill passes both houses, it goes to the governor who can either sign it into law or veto it.
Federal Legislative Process
Article I, Section 1, of the United States Constitution, provides that:
* All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
- House of Representatives - Federal Legislative Process
- United State Senate - The Legislative Process
- Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C. - Legislative Source Book