Legislative Process

Once a bill has passed, the Governor has fifteen days to act on a bill if it is sent to him during the legislative session; and forty-five days if the legislature has adjourned or has recessed for a thirty-day period. The Governor has four options:

1. Sign the bill, making it become part of Missouri law. During this session, the Governor had through July 14 to sign bills.
2. Veto the bill. In this case, the bill is returned to the General Assembly where a two-thirds vote of both houses is required to override the veto. The Governor has through July 14 to veto bills.
3. Not sign the bill. Should the Governor take no action within the prescribed time, the bill goes to the Secretary of State, who then enrolls the bill as an authentic act. It then becomes law.
4. Veto line-items in an appropriation bill. On appropriation bills only, the Governor may choose to veto selected items within the bill. The General Assembly may override this veto by two-thirds majority of both houses.

No law passed by the General Assembly can take effect until ninety days after the end of the session at which it was enacted (August 28 for regular sessions). However, if a bill was passed with an emergency clause attached, it takes effect immediately upon the Governor's signature. In addition, some bills specify the exact date when they are to take effect, which is usually a period of time longer than ninety days. (2000)