Although the legislative process is long and complex, all laws begin as ideas. Ideas for a law can come from anyone.
A bill’s path, from the time it is just an idea to the time it arrives at the governor's desk for approval, is pocked with possible detours. For a bill to become law, it must be passed by both legislative chambers in the identical form. How ideas become law is illustrated in this flow chart.
By statute, state agencies must file bills before the session. During session, only a legislator or a legislative committee can introduce a measure to the House or Senate for consideration.
If deadlines are missed, the Senate Rules Committee or the House Committee on Legislative Rules must approve requests for drafting and/or introduction. Appropriation or fiscal measures sponsored by the Joint Committee on Ways and Means are exempt from filing deadlines and may be introduced at any time.
The Oregon Constitution provides that laws become effective 90 days after adjournment of the Legislative Assembly unless the bill indicates otherwise. Some bills contain a clause that specify an effective date. Bills may have emergency, sunset or referendum clauses attached.