What needs to happen after a bill is passed in the House of Representatives before it goes to the senate? How long does this process take?

Thank you for your question.

If a bill – a proposed law – is agreed to by the House of Representatives, the Clerk signs a certificate stating:

  • the bill originated in the House of Representatives
  • the date that it was agreed to by the House of Representatives
  • the bill is now ready for presentation to the Senate.

This certificate is attached to the bill. If the bill was amended – changed – in the House of Representatives, a fresh copy of the bill is printed.

When the bill is ready, the Speaker of the House of Representatives signs a document, known as a ‘message’, addressed to the President of the Senate which says that the bill is ready to be presented to the Senate.

The message and bill are then promptly delivered to the Senate by the Serjeant-at-Arms (or their deputy) and received by the Usher of the Black Rod (or their deputy).

The Senate can then decide whether to debate the bill straight-away, send it to a committee for closer examination or leave the bill aside for a while.