Another Excellent Question from comments

From Calebc:

What does “Reported Out” mean?
Does this mean the other pro-rights bills have been defeated?
I was particularly interested in the bill fixing Concealed Carry in establishments serving alcohol.

I started to answer in comments but decided this deserved a post.

“Reported Out” means that it was passed by the sub-committee or committee. If it was “reported out” of a sub-committee, then it will go to the full committee for a hearing/vote.

If it is “Reported Out” of the full committee, then the bill will go to the house floor for debate and a full house vote.

If it passes THAT vote, then it crosses over to the Senate and the whole process starts over.

There are various reasons that a bill may not “Report Out” of a committee or sub-committee. It may be tabled to be taken up later (usually next year), it may be sent to some panel, authority or agency for investigation and review, it may be “rolled into” another similar or superior bill or it may be defeated outright in a vote. There may be other options that I’m not thinking of, but the basic gist is that if it doesn’t “Report Out”, it doesn’t go any further in the process.

If both houses pass the bills but with differing verbiage or amendments, a House/Senate conference committee will try to hammer out a compromise acceptable to both houses. That compromise bill will then be voted on again by both houses and either passed or rejected.

This process is speeded up somewhat by introducing identical “sister bills” in both the House and Senate for consideration at the same time.

Only bills that make it completely through the sub-committee, committee, floor vote, conference committee process (some will get “fast-tracked” past the sub-committee and/or committee phases) in both the House and Senate make it to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law or vetoed.

As far as the Restaurant ban or other still pending bills, the VCDL kindly provides a handy “legislative tracking tool” for bills that we are watching.

The Restaurant ban bills (HB 1544 and SB 476) have both been referred to committees but have not been taken up or referred to subcommittees yet. Basically, they are still in line awaiting action.

My daughter served as a Senate Page one year when she was in either middle school or early in high school (I don’t remember which now), during which time I got a closehand view of the process. It’s actually pretty interesting how it’s done, even if the interminable committee hearings, political games and shenanigans do get a bit tiresome.

As much as she appreciated, and in some ways enjoyed, the experience, her one session as a Page actually convinced her not to pursue a career in politics. Go figure.


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