During Session, we talk a lot about bills, but what about resolutions? Legislators introduce and hold hearings on resolutions as well as bills. Although resolutions don’t become law, they do express the sentiment of the Legislature and may prove vital in moving your issue forward.
Resolutions may range from establishing an honorary designation for a day or perhaps a month, to requesting the formation of a task force or calling for a study of a particular issue. When a bill dies, a legislator may convert some aspect of the bill to a resolution. The deadline to introduce resolutions is typically later in the session.
Once introduced, resolutions are referred to committees in the same manner as bills, and, like bills, they need to move forward by certain deadlines to remain viable. Unlike bills, the titles of resolutions can change, along with their subject matter.
Resolutions can be introduced as single chamber resolutions (their prefixes are SR or HR) which must pass one vote in the originating chamber, or as concurrent resolutions (prefixes are SCR or HCR) which must pass a vote in both chambers. Single chamber resolutions express the will and intent of either the Senate or the House, while concurrent resolutions express the will and intent of the entire legislature. Concurrent resolutions are often introduced in conjunction with identically-worded single chamber resolutions.
Unlike bills, resolutions do not carryover from one year to the next.
The structure of resolutions is very different than bills. While bills are written in sections, resolutions consist of a series of “Whereas” clauses with the broadest passages coming first, followed by more definitive statements, and ending with two or more “Be it resolved” clauses. The last clause specifies where the resolution is to be transmitted upon adoption.
Differences Between Bills and Resolutions
|Enacts law||Does not have the force and effect of law, and thus cannot require action. Resolutions are used by the legislature or a single chamber to state its official position on an issue or to request action.|
|If not vetoed, can carryover from the first year of the biennium to the second.||Cannot carryover from one session to the next.|
|All bills must pass 3 readings (votes) on the floor of each chamber.||Concurrent resolutions have to pass 1 vote on the floor of each chamber.|
Single chamber resolutions do not cross over to the other chamber for approval –to be adopted, they must pass 1 vote in their originating chamber only.
HB = House bill
SB = Senate Bill
HCR = House Concurrent Resolution
SCR = Senate Concurrent Resolution
HR = House Resolution
SR = Senate Resolution
|Once passed by the legislature, bills are enrolled to the Governor.||Resolutions are not enrolled to the Governor. Upon adoption, resolutions are transmitted to the individuals, officers, agencies,or other concerned parties cited in the resolution.|
To find a list of resolutions introduced in the current session, click on the “Reports and Lists” button in the center of the Legislature’s homepage.