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The Path to Maine Lawmaking - Maine Department of the Secretary of State

Law Talk


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"Hey, kids - here's a list of 50 terms that lawmakers use in Augusta all the time. And you'll hear many of them in Person to Person: Legislating Maine. Read the definitions. How many of them do you already know?"




Act   A bill passed or enacted by both chambers that becomes a public law.

Allocation  A legislative grant of funds, other than from the General Fund.

Amend  To alter or modify a law or bill.

Appropriation  A legislative grant from the General Fund for a specific purpose.

Bicameral  Literally, having two rooms The term is used to refer to Legislatures having two chambers: the House and the Senate.

Biennium  Two-year period of the Legislature.

Bill  A proposal for a law.

Body  One chamber of the Legislature.

Budget  An estimate of funds to be received and spent for a fiscal year.

Calendar  The printed agenda of each chamber, printed daily during the session.

Caucus  A conference of members of a legislative group to decide on policies or strategies; most commonly for members of a political party.

Chair  Presiding officer of group. The chair of the Senate is the President; in the House, the chair is the Speaker.

Chamber  Refers to either the Senate or the House of Representatives.

Cloture  Deadline for submitting completed requests for bills during a legislative session.

Code  A compilation of laws in force, arranged by subject matter.

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