The General Assembly exercises its legislative power principally by enacting resolutions and bills. You can search bills and resolutions on the General Assembly's website, as well as view Status Reports, Acts, and Session Journals.
Resolutions, generally, are formal expressions of the opinions and wishes of the General Assembly and do not require the approval of the Governor. Resolutions are of three types: joint, concurrent, and simple. Beginning with the 126th General Assembly, resolutions are available on the General Assembly's website.
Joint resolutions are used to ratify proposed amendments to the United States Constitution, to call for a federal constitutional convention, or when required by custom or a statute. For example, proposals seeking to amend the Ohio Constitution are customarily offered as joint resolutions. Joint resolutions require the approval of both houses and, after approval, must be filed with the Secretary of State.
Concurrent resolutions also require the approval of both houses, but, unlike joint resolutions, concurrent resolutions are not filed with the Secretary of State. They are used when required by the Ohio Constitution or a statute and in all cases when the action of both houses is advisable and use of a joint resolution is not required. Cases that typically call for a concurrent resolution include memorializing Congress as to the General Assembly's position on issues before Congress and determining joint procedural matters such as adjournment. Concurrent resolutions also are used to commend people, groups, and events that are of interest to both houses. Another subject requiring the adoption of a concurrent resolution is the invalidation of administrative rules.
When the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) recommends that the General Assembly invalidate a rule that has been proposed or adopted by an executive agency, a member must submit a concurrent resolution in order to put the question of invalidation before the two houses. The resolution briefly describes the rule and the reason why it is being recommended for invalidation. The Ohio Constitution authorizes the General Assembly, by the adoption of a concurrent resolution, to disapprove proposed Supreme Court rules governing practices and procedures in all courts of the state.
Simple resolutions often relate to the organization, appointments, and officers of the house in which they are offered. Simple resolutions that commend persons, groups, and events of interest to one house are discussed in Chapter 9.
A bill is a document by which a member of the General Assembly proposes to enact a new law or amend or repeal an existing law. The term "bill" is used to refer to the document from the time it is drafted and delivered to the member until it is considered and approved by both the House and the Senate. After passing both houses, a bill becomes an "act" and must be presented to the Governor for acceptance or rejection. If accepted, or if the Governor does not take any action for ten days, it becomes a "law."