Glossary of Words and Terms

Adjournments, Kinds of

1. Adjourn. A motion of highest priority, which may be made at any time by any member. It is not debatable, and must be voted upon at once. Used to close each day's session with intent to resume on a given date and time.

2. Recess. A motion of similar priority used with intent to resume session at a later time that day.

3. At Ease. An announcement from the Chair indicating a short break in affairs, usually pending action by a Committee, etc.

4. Adjourn sine die. A motion at the end of the Legislative Session to adjourn "without date" for resumption of Session.

5. Rise and Report. A motion to adjourn the Committee of the Whole.


A daily listing showing bills ready for each action today.

Call of the House or Senate

Action compelling all members to be present in the proper Chamber.

Committee of the Whole

A Committee of the Whole body. Usually assembled by a move to consider bills on General File and to make amendments thereto, and to recommend action to be taken by the body. Debate is not recorded in the Senate (S.R. 14-5), but is recorded in the House (H.R. 14-5) and the final recommendation of the Committee is entered in the Journal.

Engross to

To incorporate all adopted amendments into the text of the bill. Done in the Legislative Service Office.

ENGROSSING CODING PATTERN This work is done by the Legislative Service Office. Like the amendment coding, the system is designed to be meaningful as to what stage the engrossing was done.
In the top right corner of a bill that has passed the first house with amendments, you will find the word "ENGROSSED" under the LSO number. This indicates all passed amendments from the first house are incorporated into the bill. If the bill passes the second house with the amendments or additional amendments, the word "ENGROSSED" is printed in the top right corner of the enrolled version of the bill. Once the bill is engrossed and distributed from the original house, House Bills are printed on green paper and Senate Files are printed on blue paper.

Enroll to

To revise a bill after passage by both bodies of the Legislature, by incorporating therein all amendments adopted by both bodies. Done in the Legislative Service Office. The Enrolled Act becomes Law after being signed by Presiding Officers of each body and the Governor.

First Reading

Done when a bill is introduced. Catch Title and the name(s) of the sponsor(s) are read.

General File

Position of bills after having been considered by the Standing Committees to which they were assigned. From this position, bills can go either to Committee of the Whole or back to Standing Committee.

Indefinitely Postpone, to

If the motion carries, its effect is to remove any future possibility for reconsideration of the bill in a session except by reintroduction as a new bill. See discussion in Appendix A regarding the propriety of a motion to "indefinitely postpone" as a Standing Committee action on a bill.

Introduce a Bill, to

The only way to pass a law is to introduce a bill for an act in its proper form for consideration, amendment and passage by both bodies and approval by the Governor.

Joint Conference Committee

Composed of three members from each body appointed by the Speaker and President respectively. Its purpose is to reconcile the differences in the content of a bill which has been amended in the body last considering the measure, which amendments are not acceptable to the original body. Its report goes back to both bodies for debate and vote on adoption. NOTE: Pursuant to J.R. 14-1(h)(2), joint conference committees on budget bills consist of five members from each house. Each body votes on the JCC report simultaneously.

Lay Back, to

A motion to lay back a bill may be made and must carry by a majority of a quorum. The bill may be on General File in Committee of Whole, or on Second or Third Reading. It may be laid back to a specified position for a specified time.

"Question" (Call of)

An informal use of the motion "Previous Question". Both are used to stop debate and force consideration of the main question and all amendments to it.

Reconsider, to

A motion to retake a roll call. Carried by voice majority vote of members present. Must be made by a member who voted on the prevailing side and must be made and be acted on the same or the next legislative day. Cannot be made once the bill in question has passed out of possession of the body. Announcement of reconsideration holds bill in possession of the body until a new vote can be taken. (See H.R. 12-11; S.R. 12-10.)

Recommit, to

A motion made by any member to return a bill to the Committee which has already considered it.

Rerefer, to

A motion made by any member to assign a bill to a Committee other than the one which has already considered it.

Second Reading

Usually is ordered at least a day after adoption of recommendation of Committee of Whole. Catch Title of bill is read only. This reading serves primarily as a notice to members that the bill will be up for Third Reading and final passage the following day. No action is required, but any action, including amendment, may be moved on the bill by any member.

Substitute Bills

If committee amendments are extensive, a committee may request a substitute bill. The substitute bill incorporates all committee amendments into a new version of the bill and is presented as an amendment printed on buff colored paper. If the committee amendment is adopted by the body in Committee of the Whole all further amendments to the bill are made to the substitute bill.

Third Reading

Usually is ordered on the next legislative day following Second Reading. Amendments may be offered only prior to the reading of the bill. Catch title and the enacting clause are read, and roll call is taken for final passage.


A motion to remove a bill from further consideration by the member who introduced the bill can only be made when the bill is in possession of the body, and must carry by unanimous consent of the members.

Without Recommendation

A Committee may return a bill without recommendation, which indicates neither approval nor disapproval.

Amendment Naming Pattern

Names are applied to an amendment once approved by the sponsor. The name tells the reader when and where an amendment was acted upon and its disposition.
Many combinations of letters and numbers are possible and cover all situations of amendment actions. Sample amendment SF0015H2001/ACE is explained below:
HB: House Bill Number
SF: Senate File Number
HJ: House Joint Resolution Number
SJ: Senate Joint Resolution Number
H: House Amendment
S: Senate Amendment
W: Committee of the Whole Amendment
2: Second Reading Amendment 3: Third Reading Amendment
001: Sequence of Amendment (amendment number one)
A: Adopted F: Failed C: Corrected Copy
E: Amendment to an Engrossed Bill


H: House
S: Senate
CoW: Committee of the Whole
JCC: Joint Conference Committee
Committee Numbers
(H/S in front of Number Represents House or Senate Committee)
01: Judiciary
02: Appropriations
03: Revenue
04: Education
05: Agriculture, Public Lands & Water Resources
06: Travel, Recreation, Wildlife & Cultural Resources
07: Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions
08: Transportation & Highways
09: Minerals, Business & Economic Development
10: Labor, Health & Social Services
11: Journal
12: Rules and Procedure