LAW REVIEW: How are laws made? - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

LAW REVIEW: How are laws made?

With lawmakers, in all three Siouxland states, headed back to their state capitols to begin another legislative session, it's time to brush up on the basics of lawmaking.

Jeana Goosmann, with Goosmann Law Firm says the job of elected senators and representatives is to be a voice for the people in the lawmaking process. But, what many people wonder is how a bill becomes a law. Jeana Goosmann, Goosmann Law Firm says, "A bill is an 'idea'," Goosmann said. "A bill is introduced by the House or Senate. That bill goes through several groups of people to become a law. If it's agreed upon by the two chambers, it goes to the governor. He can sign it, or vote it.

Matt Breen, asked, "How long does it take a passed law to go into effect?" Goosmann said it's generally three months after the legislature adjourns. "But, it's different for each state," Goosmann said. "In 2014, the Iowa legislature meets for 100 days. In Nebraska, lawmakers meet for 60 days., And, in South Dakota, lawmakers meet for 35 working days."

Each state will have different priorities. "In Iowa, new issues could include tax policy, education, infrastructure needs, health care, growing jobs and the economy," Goosmann said. "In Nebraska it's tax policy, Medicaid expansion, and education funding. And, South Dakota lawmakers will deal with gun and alcohol laws, texting and driving."

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