Reading of bills in Illinois: which readings are relevant to legislative history?

The table below is an overview of the path a bill takes through the Illinois General Assembly. All of the following refer to House Bill 1 (H.B. 1).

If a bill begins in the House, it retains its House bill number even when it moves to the Senate. Conversely, if a bill begins in the Senate, it retains its Senate bill number when it moves to the House.

For purposes of legislative history:

  • The first readings (debates) are not important.
  • Second readings are only important if the language in which you are interested came from an amendment to the bill after it was introduced in the House or Senate. Then the second reading in the chamber in which the amendment was introduced is relevant -- but only in the chamber in which the amendment was introduced.
  • Generally, the third reading is relevant from both chambers unless only an amendment from the second chamber to consider the bill is of interest. In that case, the third reading in the chamber of origin would be irrelevant.
  • If a bill is introduced and passes through the first chamber without any changes, then moves on to the second chamber and is amended, the concurrence in the first chamber to the second chamber's amendment is also relevant (in addition to the second and third Readings in the second chamber).
Event Documentation Generated
House:
First Reading H.B. 1 is introduced. (No debate, just a reading of the Bill.)
Reported out of Committee H.B. 1 as reported.1
Second Reading Amendments debated on the House floor.2
Third Reading Floor debates occur on the whole bill.2
Transmittal to Senate
H.B. 1 as engrossed in the House.
Senate:

First Reading H.B. 1 as engrossed in the House. (No debate, just a reading of the Bill.)
Reported out of Committee H.B. 1 as reported in the Senate. 3
Second Reading Amendments debated on the Senate floor. 2
Third Reading Floor debates occur on the whole bill. 2
If the Senate amended H.B. 1:

Transmittal to the House
H.B. 1 as engrossed in the Senate.
House Concurrence to Senate Amendments
House floor debates on Senate amendments.2
If House Nonconcurs to Senate Amendments
H.B. 1 as reported out of Conference Committee. House and Senate floor debates on conference report.2
H.B. 1 sent to the Governor:
H.B. 1 as enrolled.
If Governor signs H.B. 1
No documentation generated.
If Governor issues amendatory or total veto
Governor's Veto Message; House & Senate floor debates on the Governor's recommendations. 2

1. Recordings of House Committee meetings available 1975-date. See Researching Illinois legislative history.

2. Transcripts of House & Senate floor debates available 1971-date. See Researching Illinois legislative history.

3. There are no recordings or transcripts available for Senate Committee meetings.