Glossary of Legislative Terms

Act -- A bill passed by the Legislature.

Ad Hoc Committees -- Committees appointed by the presiding officers for special purposes which are dissolved upon completion of assignment.

Adjournment -- Termination of legislative activities at the conclusion of each legislative day with indication of the next day's meeting time. Neither house may adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other body.
Advice and Consent
-- Confirmation by the Senate of individual executive branch appointments.  

Amendment -- A modification, deletion, or addition that alters form or substance of legislation.

Appropriation -- A legislative authorization to make expenditures and incur obligations.

Bicameral -- A two-house Legislature.  

Bill -- A proposed law, requiring support of both houses and the governor's action for enactment.

Budget -- Estimates of proposed expenditures and expected revenues for a fiscal year.

Calendar -- A sequential listing of bills and resolutions for floor consideration.

Caucus -- A meeting of legislative party members to determine a course of action.  

Circle a Bill -- To temporarily postpone action on a measure without removing it from its place on the calendar.  

Code (Utah Code Annotated) -- A complete codification and compilation of all effective and current laws of the state, classified according to subject matter.  

Committee of the Whole -- A procedure in which the entire membership of a single house constitutes a committee to consider legislative matters. It is used to permit an individual who is not a member of the house to address members on a bill before the Legislature.

Concurrence -- One house "accepts" the actions of the other house.  

Concurrent Resolution -- A measure generally used to express sentiment of intent, having support of both houses and signature of governor.  
Conference Committee
-- A committee of members of the House and Senate to confer on differences in measures that have passed both houses.  

Consent Calendar -- A special calendar allowing consideration of bills without debate and requiring committee support and bill sponsor endorsement.  

Division -- Method of voting called for by members to verify by actual count the results of a voice vote.  

Enacting Clause -- The phrase preceding each proposed bill, "Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Utah."  

Enrolled Bill -- An exact, accurate, and official copy of a passed Senate or House bill. This copy is sent to the governor for executive action.

Fiscal Note -- A statement from the legislative fiscal analyst showing estimated cost or cost savings in a particular bill.  

Fiscal Year -- A period (July 1 to June 30) at the end of which the state ascertains its financial conditions.  

Floor -- Reference to the interior of the chamber. "Floor action" refers to action in the chamber on a measure under consideration.  

Hearing -- A legislative committee meeting at which witnesses from the general public are invited to participate.  

Immunity -- A constitutional privilege from arrest–except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace–15 days prior to, during, and in returning from a session and for words used in any speech or debate.  

Joint Resolution -- An expression of intent representing both houses and requiring no signature of the Governor. Constitutional amendments proposed to the voters are in the form of joint resolutions.  

Journal -- An official record maintained by each house on a daily basis indicating specific actions and recording votes.  

Lobbyist -- An individual paid to represent a special interest group whose function is to urge support for or opposition to legislative matters.

Majority Leader -- Spokesman and floor leader for the majority party in each house.

Minority Leader -- Spokesman and floor leader for the minority party in each house.  

Move Previous Question -- A nondebatable parliamentary motion to conclude debate and proceed to vote on the issue.

President -- The presiding officer in the Senate.  

Reading -- Refers to the following stages of the legislative process:

First Reading - Required of all bills and resolutions and accomplished by receiving a number and stating the title. The first reading is followed by Rules Committee consideration.

Second Reading - Occurs in the House as a bill is reported back to the floor with a committee recommendation. Acceptance of the committee report completes the second reading. In the Senate, debate, possible amendments and substitutes, and vote are taken on the actual bill which completes the second reading.

Third reading - Final phase in the consideration of a bill, followed by debate, further amendments and substitutes, if any, and final vote.

Regulation -- An executive ruling or order authorized by legislative statute.

Resolution -- Expression of legislative intent in the form of simple, joint, or concurrent.

Rules -- The procedures of action as determined by each house or joint action.

Sine Die -- Final adjournment of the legislature.

Speaker -- Presiding officer in the House of Representatives.

Sponsor -- A member who authors or agrees to introduce a measure.  

Standing Committee -- A designated committee which considers proposed legislation during a legislative session.  

Substitute Bill -- In lieu of extensive amendments, a bill with the same number and sponsor and covering the same subject area with considerably altered substance.  

Suspend the Rules -- A parliamentary procedure to remove obstacles either for voting, consideration, or status.

Table a Bill -- To indefinitely postpone action on a measure.  

Veto -- An official action of the Governor to nullify legislative action. The legislature may override the action by a constitutional 2/3 vote of each house if still in session or if called back into veto override session.

Whip -- An individual selected to assist the party floor leader.