Maryland’s Legislative Process: How It Works

Maryland’s legislative process is a complex system that each bill must pass through before it becomes a law.

The Maryland General Assembly is made up of 141 Delegates and 47 Senators (one Senator and three Delegates per legislative district), combined to make up the elected officials from the state’s 47 legislative districts.  Both the House of Delegates and the Senate are responsible for introducing and passing bills related to state affairs.

From the Department of Legislative Services (DLS) website:

In Maryland, an idea or concept must pass through many processes before it becomes law.  Citizens of Maryland must approach their legislators to introduce a bill.  If the legislator agrees to sponsor the legislation, the bill is drafted by the Department of Legislative Services, reviewed by the legislator, and prepared for introduction.

Once a bill is introduced by a Delegate or Senator, the bill is assigned to the appropriate committee where it is discussed and voted upon.  Then the bill goes to a floor vote of the entire chamber.  If passed, the bill moves to the opposite chamber where it then is assigned to the appropriate committee, discussed and voted upon.  The bill then goes to a floor vote of the entire chamber.  If both chambers (House and Senate) have passed the bill, then it is submitted to the Governor for his signature to make the bill into a law or the Governor can veto the bill.

From the DLS website:

Bills must be presented to the Governor within twenty days after adjournment of a session, and in the case of such bills, the Governor may veto within thirty days after presentation.  If the Governor foes not veto a bill, it becomes law.

For more details on Maryland’s legislative process, visit the DLS website.