Versions of Bills
The Versions or Printings of a Bill are:
- Committee Report
- Committee Substitute
- Committee Amendments
- Floor Amendments
- Senate/House Amendments
- Conference Committee Report
When analyzing a bill, it is essential to review the correct version of the bill when an impact statement is being prepared. Bills are constantly changed as they go through the legislative process. If one does not have the most recent version of the bill when doing the analysis, the work could be totally useless.
It is easy to identify the various versions of a bill or resolution by looking at the first page.
The FILED version shows the bill as it is when first introduced into the Legislature and before it has been considered by a legislative committee. In this version the word "Filed" or "Introduced" is often printed on the first page.
The COMMITTEE REPORT version shows the bill after it has been considered by House or Senate committee and after that committee has made changes it believes are necessary. There are two types of committee reports, a Committee Substitute and Committee Amendments. A Committee Substitute is a complete replacement for the original Filed version and is is adopted when substantial changes are made to the original bill. It can be identified by the phrase "Committee Substitute for (HB or SB No.)" printed on the first page by the name of the legislator who offered the substitute in committee and the letters CS appear in front of its normal prefix on subsequent pages (i.e. HB 4 becomes CSHB 4.) A Committee Amendments version shows only the changes (usually minor) the committee has voted to make in the bill. It is identified by the phrase "House or Senate Committee Amendments to HB or SB" on the first page. To analyze the impact of these amendments, you will need to compare the original Filed version with the Committee Amendments version to see what changes have been made.
Both House and Senate committees can, and do, produce Committee Substitutes and Committee Amendments for the same bill. An analysis of a House Committee Substitute cannot be relied upon when an analysis of the Senate's version needs to be done. They are distinguish by "House" or "Senate" before the Committee Substitute or Committee Amendments title (i.e., a House Committee Substitute is identified by the words "House Committee Substitute for. . ." while a Senate version would be "Senate Committee Substitute for...." .) The full House or Senate must adopt committee amendments when the bill reaches the Floor for a vote.
The FLOOR AMENDMENTS version shows the changes made in a bill or resolution when it was debated on the Floor of the full House or Senate. These versions are identified by "House (or Senate) Floor Amendments" printed on the first page, with the word "Adopted" often appearing at the top of the page. Again, there can be House and Senate Floor Amendments versions that can be quite different.
The ENGROSSED version shows the bill as it was passed in the chamber in which it originated. This version incorporates all the changes made to the document in that chamber. It can be identified by the word "Engrossed" printed on the top of the first page. There is only one Engrossed version of a bill, as a bill can originate in only one of the two legislative chambers. A bill that has passed both legislative houses is called an Enrolled bill. The Senate/House Amendments version shows the changes made by the other chamber. This is the version that will be before the House or Senate when it decides to either accept the changes or ask for a conference. The Conference Committee Report version shows the bill after it has been considered and approved by a conference committee of House and Senate members. This version is identified by the signatures of the conference committee members who voted for it, or by "Conference Committee Report" printed on the first page.
The ENROLLED version presents the full text of the bill after it is approved by both chambers of the Legislature and has been sent to the Comptroller for certification, or to the governor for approval or veto. "Enrolled" or "As Finally Passed & Sent to the Governor" appears on the first page.
Joint and Concurrent Resolutions go through a similar process in both the House and Senate. Simple Resolutions are only considered by the chamber in which they are filed.