Section 15.  No bill shall become law unless it shall pass three readings in each house on separate days.  No bill shall pass third or final reading in either house unless printed copies of the bill in the form to be passed shall have been made available to the members of that house for at least forty-eight hours.

     Every bill when passed by the house in which it originated, or in which amendments thereto shall have originated, shall immediately be certified by the presiding officer and clerk and sent to the other house for consideration.

     Any bill pending at the final adjournment of a regular session in an odd-numbered year shall carry over with the same status to the next regular session.  Before the carried-over bill is enacted, it shall pass at least one reading in the house in which the bill originated. [Am Const Con 1968 and election Nov 5, 1968; ren and am Const Con 1978 and election Nov 7, 1978]


Attorney General Opinions


  Twenty-four hour period begins when bill is first printed and made available in the form in which it is passed on third reading, irrespective of when such form is attained; committee reports are not included in twenty-four hour requirement.  Att. Gen. Op. 70-7.

  Requirement applies to carry-over bills in the same manner.  Att. Gen. Op. 70-10.

  A bill which does not pass in the same form in both houses cannot become law.  Att. Gen. Op. 81-7.

  Senate Bill No. 1394 (Act 172, L 2003) passed three readings in the senate and was validly enacted; even if the bill did not pass second reading in the senate, it did pass three readings on separate days in the senate.  Att. Gen. Op. 03-6.

  This section requires a separate forty-eight-hour period in the senate after the house has passed, certified, and transmitted the final version of the bill to the senate; the purpose of the forty-eight-hour review period is to allow legislators and constituents to be able to review bills before third or final reading so as to avoid hasty decisions and surprises.  Att. Gen. Op. 11-1.

  If the legislature is considering possible amendments to a bill returned by the governor, final actions on an amended bill cannot be taken on the first day of the forty-fifth-day special session.  Att. Gen. Op. 16-4.


Case Notes


  This article and article XVII of the Hawaii constitution require that (1) a proposal to amend the constitution must be reflected in the title of the bill and (2) a proposed constitutional amendment must be read three times in each house of the legislature to be validly adopted; where bill failed to fulfill these requirements, it was not constitutionally adopted.  108 H. 245, 118 P.3d 1188.



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