All bills must wait on the Calendar for three days before they can be considered.
- A bill is given a marker each day to designate how long it has been on the calendar:
- Day 1: Under "Favorable Reports" with its calendar number and file number
Day 2: Calendar number and file number and one X
Day 3: Calendar number and file number and two Xs
- While the bills are waiting on the calendar, legislators plan out a clear argument for the upcoming debate, whether to tout a bill's merits or criticize its faults. You start to see the Democrats and Republicans meeting to decide which issues their party will support as a group that session. In the House, a screening committee made up of three or four members from each party screens the bills and reports to party leaders any recommendations to amend the bill or a simple rejection. In the Senate, this screening committee process is a little less formal.
- On the third day, the bill is ready for debate. The clerk reads the bill aloud (third reading) and from here the chamber can make a few different choices.