How does an idea become state law? Understanding the legislative process is important to advocacy. Throughout the process, there are opportunities to make your voice heard and knowing when and to whom to speak to are key. Below is a brief overview of the legislative process in Florida. 

Bill Drafting

The process starts when someone decides current law needs revision. A bill is drafted, which is essentially a list of changes to the existing compiled state statutes and code that may add, strike, or amend the text to confer new purpose, restrictions, etc. Have an idea for a policy change? Contact your state Senator and/or Representative to let them know. Not sure who they are? Find out here.


The bill is introduced into the first chamber. This often entails the chamber Clerk and registering the official introductory draft of the legislation. 

Read First / Read Second

The definition of "read" varies; however, it is rare that the bill is read verbatim on the chamber floor. At this stage typically a synopsis of the legislation is presented and any initial discussion or decisions on the merit of the bill may be decided and then the bill is assigned to one or more committees to continue the life process of the bill.


In most states committees do the bulk of the legislative debate and modification. They are specialized by area of oversight or expertise and will discuss and research the bill, potentially amending or substituting a new draft. The committee typically recommends to the Committee of the Whole, another way of saying the entire chamber, that the bill either Pass or Do Not Pass. This is a great time to express your support or concerns for a bill. Find out who is on the committee and contact those members, copying your Representative or Senator on the communications.

Passage Vote for Engrossment

After a bill has been "read" a third time it is put to a vote for passage out of the originating house (either the House or the Senate). If the vote passes, the bill is then considered to be "Engrossed" and is sent to the other chamber of the legislative body. You can track legislation to see when it comes out of committee and contact your Representative or Senator before it is voted on by the legislative body. 

Senate Tracker

House Tracker

Rinse and Repeat

The process then repeats itself from Introduction to Third Reading in the second legislative chamber.* If you had previously been contacting your Representative as a bill moved through the House, you'll now want to contact your Senator, and vice-versa.

Passage Vote for Enrollment

Once the bill gets to third reading there is another vote for passage. Should it pass then the bill normally will be considered to be Enrolled. This version of the bill text is what will be sent to the Governor as an Act. The Governor may sign the bill into law or allow the Act to become law without his signature. If he chooses the veto the Act, it does not become law and the legislature can choose to attempt to override the veto at the next legislative session. It takes two-thirds of the legislature to override a veto. You may want to contact the Governor's Office to express your support or concerns about an Act.

*If the second legislative chamber makes changes to the bill, it will have to go back to the first chamber to be approved again. 

Sent to Governor

In states where Governor approval is required, the Enrolled bill is sent to the Governor. This may be ceremonial, or the Governor may have the power to veto the bill, or if left unsigned for a fixed period of time is de facto approved.




of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2021-2022.