Glossary

Abbreviations

AB: Assembly Bill
ACA: Assembly constitutional amendment
ACR: Assembly concurrent resolution
AG: Attorney General
AJR: Assembly Joint Resolution
A.R.: Assembly Rules
A. & A. R.: Accountability and Admin. Review
A,E,S,T,&I,M: Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, & Internet Media
Aging & LTC:  Committee on Aging & Long Term Care
AGRI: Committee on Agriculture
APPR: Committee on Appropriations
B & F: Committee on Banking and Finance
B,P, & C, P: Committee on Business, Professions, & Consumer Protection
BUDGET: Committee on Budget
E & R: Committee on Elections and Reapportionment
E.S. & T.M.: Committee on Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials
ED: Committee on Education
G.O.: Committee on Governmental Organization
H & C.D.: Committee on Housing & Community Development
HEALTH: Committee on Health
Higher Ed: Committee on Higher Education
H.R.: House Resolution
Hum. S.: Committee on Human Services
Ins.: Committee on Insurance
J, E.D.&E: Committee on Jobs, Economic Development & the Economy
J. R.: Joint Rules
JUD: Committee on Judiciary
L & E: Committee on Labor & Employment
LAO: Legislative Analyst Office
LCB: Legislative Counsel Bureau
LDC: Legislative Data Center
LG: Lieutentant Governor
L. Gov: Committee on Local Government
Nat. Res.: Committee on Natural Resource
P.E.R. & S.S.: Committee on Public Employee Retirement & Social Security
Pub. S.: Committee on Public Safety
Rev & Tax: Committee on Revenue & Taxation
RLS: Committee on Rules
SB: Senate Bill
SCA: Senate constitutional amendment
SCR: Senate concurrent resolution
SOS: Secretary of State
SJR: Senate joint resolution
TRANS: Committee on Transportation
U & C: Committee on Utilities & Commerce
V.A.: Committee on Veterans Affairs
W,P, & W: Committee on Water, Parks, & Wildlife

Terms

Adjournment Sine Die:
Adjournment on the last day of a regular or special legislative session.

Amend:
To alter formally by modification, deletion, or addition.

Amendment, Floor:
An amendment offered to a legislative document, or to modify another amendment, presented by a legislator while the document is on the floor of that legislator's house, i.e., a "House amendment" or "Senate amendment."

Appropriation:
A legislative authorization to make expenditures and incur obligations for specific governmental purposes; usually limited as to time when it may be expended. One of the prime responsibilities of the Legislature is this power to appropriate moneys.

Biennium:
A two-year period. This term is used to describe the two-year term of a Legislature that begins in an odd-numbered year and ends in an even-numbered year.

Bond:
A certificate of indebtedness issued by the government in return for money it has borrowed; a promise to pay a specified sum of money at a fixed time in the future and carrying interest at a fixed rate.

Bond-General obligation bonds:
Bonds for whose payment the full faith and credit of the issuing government are pledged.

Bond-Revenue bonds:
A bond which is to be paid off by revenues produced from the facility it finances, such as user fees for a parking garage or room fees for a student dormitory.

Budget :
A plan for expending funds by program for a given fiscal year or biennium and the means of financing the expenditures.

Budget-Operating budget:
A budget which applies to all expenditures other than capital expenditures for general governmental expenses.

Caucus:
Conference of members of a legislative group to decide on policies or strategies; most commonly, a "party caucus" is for members of one or another political party.

Committee:
A group of legislators, usually members of the same house, assigned to consider a subject or issue and to submit a report on its recommendations for action by the body which created it. All committees are appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly.

Committee Report:
A document that a committee uses from time to time to report on matters referred to it. The document usually states findings of facts and conclusions, together with a distinct recommendation as to the disposal of the matter.

Committee-Conference Committees:
are appointed from both houses to reach agreement on a measure for final approval by both houses once it has been passed in differing versions by each house.

Committee-Special Committees:
are temporary and are established either by the speaker or president by resolution or by any other legal means to consider one special subject or bill. They come to an end when they have performed the purpose for which they were established.

Committee-Standing Committees:
are established by the rules of the House and Senate to address particular areas such as health, transportation, or education.

Companion Bill:
Two bills identical in wording that are introduced in each house. They will most likely not have the same number. Some companion bill sponsors feel it will increase the chances for the passage of the bill.

Conflict of Interest:
Any interest, financial or otherwise, any business or professional activity, or any obligation which is incompatible with the proper discharge of a legislator's duties in the public interest.

Constitution:
The written instrument embodying the fundamental principles of the state that establishes power and duties of the government and guarantees certain rights to the people.

Legislative Deadlines:
Deadline set by a legislative body for specified action, such as bill introduction, committee action, or initial passage of bills by either house.

Effective Date:
The date a bill, once passed, becomes law. Unless a different date is specified, bills become law when approved.

Engrossment :
The preparation of an exact, accurate, and official copy of a measure in the house of origin along with amendments and proper signatures; then dispatched to the other house.

Enrollment:
Signifies that a bill has been engrossed by both houses. This is the last legislative action taken on a bill unless it is reconsidered after objection by the governor.

Fiscal Year:
The period used for budgeting and accounting.

Floor:
Reference to the interior of the chamber of either house. Floor action suggests consideration by the Assembly or Senate rather than committee action.

Hearing, Public:
A formal session of a legislative committee, whereby interested members of the public are invited to present testimony on a proposal; distinguished from an informational briefing, which the public is usually allowed to attend but not present testimony.

Held in Committee:
The defeat of a measure by the decision of a standing committee not to return it to the full house for further consideration.

House:
Generally, either body or chamber of the Legislature. (If capitalized, it refers to the House of Representatives).

Initiative:
A procedure by which the general public may directly vote on proposed laws.

Introduction:
The transmittal of a bill from a representative's or senator's office to the respective chief clerk's office for acceptance and numbering.

Joint Committee:
A committee composed of a specified number of members of both houses.

Journal:
The official chronological record of the proceedings of the Senate and House, certified, indexed, printed, and bound at the close of each session.

Measure:
Any matter before a body such as a bill or resolution.

Quorum:
The number of members of a house, committee, or other group that must be present before the group may conduct official business.

Re-Referral:
The act of reconsidering the referral of a measure to a committee or committees.

Reading:
A vote by the Assembly or Senate on a bill or resolution. Approval of a bill requires three readings by the Assembly and three readings by the Senate.

Reconsideration:
The act of requesting the return of a measure sent to the second house or to the governor, but not yet enacted into law, for the purpose of reconsidering the action taken on that measure.

Referendum:
The principle or practice of submitting a law to popular vote after the filing of a petition expressing the wish of the people to vote on such law.

Referral:
The sending or referring of a measure to a committee or committees.

Reporting Out:
Action by a committee on a measure which moves the measure out of the committee.

Resolution :
A measure expressing the will, wish, or direction of the Legislature. It does not have the effect of law.

Resolution-Concurrent Resolution:
A resolution which requests action or states the Legislature's position on an issue.

Resolution-Memorial Resolution:
A nonsubstantive resolution used to convey the sympathy and condolences of the Legislature on the passing of a constituent or a dignitary.

Sine Die:
To adjourn on the last day of a regular or special session.

Sunset Law:
A provision shutting off a program or agency on a specific date, requiring reexamination and a fresh authorization prior to that date to continue.

Urgency:
An urgency measure goes into effect immediately once passed by both houses and signed by the Governor. This type of measure requires a 2/3 vote.

Veto:
A power vested in the governor to prevent the enactment of measures passed by the Legislature by returning them, with objections, to the Legislature.
 

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