Legislative Lingo Explained

We are breaking down what some of the most commonly used legislative jargon means and perhaps how you can work it into your daily discussions on local politics.

What does it mean when a bill is hog housed, smoked out, or sent to the 41st legislative day?

Scroll to learn more or email us at southdakota@aclu.org with questions. 

Omnibus

  • When using this term to describe a bill, it means that the bill in question is serving as a vehicle of sorts for other bills. Omnibus bills could also have far reaching effects on a certain community. 

Hoghouse

  • This is a procedure occasionally used in the Legislature when a committee or a member from the floor, will move to strike everything after enacting clause of a bill and insert in lieu thereof the substance of an entirely new bill.

Smoke Out

  • An act which invokes of Joint Rule 7-7 whereby one-third of the members of a house can require a committee to deliver a bill to the full body by the next legislative day. 

Sent to the 41st Legislative Day

  • An act to send a bill to the day after the last day of the Legislative Session for discussion, ultimately defeating the bill.
  • Here is the Legislative Research Council's (LRC) full definition: Each house may by motion order its committee to deliver a bill or resolution under its consideration to that house if no more than three legislative days have passed since the committee reported that the bill or resolution was tabled or deferred to the 41st legislative day. If the motion is supported by the vote of one-third or more of the members-elect, the chair of the committee shall, not later than the next legislative day, deliver the bill or resolution to the house without recommendation in the same form the bill or resolution was in when it was tabled or deferred to the 41st legislative day. 

Proponent

  • Someone who is supportive of a particular piece of legislation or act.

Opponent

  • Someone who is against a particular piece of legislation or act.

Page

  • Pages serve as assistants or interns to the legislature during a legislative session. 

Lame Duck

  • An official in the final period of office, or after the election of a successor.

A few important abbreviations 

  • Legislative Research Council (LRC)
  • Joint Committee on Appropriations (JCA) 
  • House Health and Human Services Committee (HHHS) 
  • Veterans Affairs (VA)
  • Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED)
  • Department of Social Services (DSS) 
  • Fiscal Year (FY) 
  • Federal Medical Assistance percentatives (FMAP)
  • Senate Bill (SB)
  • House Bill (HB) 
  • Senator (Sen.) 
  • Representative (Rep.) 

This list is not entirely exhaustive of terminology you may encounter during the South Dakota Legislative Session. Send your questions to southdakota@aclu.org