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11 January 2009 @ 11:59 pm
Supporters of Captions in Movie Theaters  

Hey all:

In case you missed it on an earlier blog posting of mine, I now have a FaceBook page, and a group page I created just to try and help spread the word about trying to get captions in movie theaters in Kentucky.  You can visit the page at this link:


If you have a FaceBook account, feel free to join and leave comments about what having access to captioned movies means to you.  I'm looking for all comments about captions, positive and negative, so feel free to chime in.

In the meantime, a quick update on where the bills stand right now.  In the State Senate, it has been introduced formally and has now been converted from the pre-filed bill number (BR 69) to SB 10, and has been referred to the Committee on Licensing, Occupations and Administration.  In the State House, it has also been formally introduced and converted to HB 103 from the pre-filed number of BR 395.  It has since been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.  The bill in the House is a companion bill to the one introduced in the Senate.

In Kentucky, as in many other states, there are several things that can happen now at this point in time to the bills.  Generally speaking, once in committee, any of the following things can happen (copied from the Kentucky Legislative Research Committee's "How a Bill becomes a law" link):

  • Committee meetings are open to the public.
  • When there is sufficient interest in a subject, a public hearing is held.
  • A bill may be reported out of committee with one of the following reports: favorable, favorable with amendments, favorable with committee substitute, unfavorable, or without opinion.
  • A committee can kill a bill by failing to act on it.

First Reading:


  • When a committee reports a bill favorably, the bill has what's called its "first reading" and is placed in the Calendar for the following day.
  • If a committee reports a bill unfavorably or without opinion, the bill is not likely to progress.

Second Reading and then To Rules:


  • The bill is read by title a second time and sent to the Rules Committee.
  • The Rules Committee may recommit the bill or place it in Orders of the Day for a specific day.

Third Reading and Passage:


  • "I move that House Bill 100 be taken from the Orders of the Day, read for the third time by title only, and placed upon its passage." This motion, usually by the majority floor leader, is adopted by voice vote, and the floor is open for debate.
  • Following debate and amendments, a final vote on the bill is taken.
  • To pass, a bill must be approved by at least two-fifths of the members of the chamber (40 representatives or 16 senators) and a majority of the members present and voting.
  • If the bill contains an appropriation of funds or an emergency clause, it must be approved by a majority of the members elected to each house, (51 representatives and 20 senators).

What Happens Next?


  • If a bill is defeated, that is the end of it, unless two members who voted against it request its reconsideration, and a majority approves.
  • If a bill passes in one house, it is sent to the other chamber, where it follows much the same procedure.
  • Both houses must agree on the final form of each bill.
  • If either house fails to concur in amendments, the differences must be reconciled by a "conference committee" of senators and representatives.
  • Compromises agreed to by this conference committee are subject to approval by both houses.



  • After passage by both houses, a bill is read carefully to make sure the final wording is correct.
  • The bill is signed by the presiding officer of each house and sent to the Governor.

Governor's Action:


  • The Governor may sign a bill, permit it to become law without signature, or veto it.
  • The bill may be passed over the Governor's veto by a majority of the members of both houses.
  • The Governor has 10 days (excluding Sundays) to act on a bill after it is received.
  • It is possible for a bill to complete the legislative process in four days through the use of companion bills.
  •          Most bills take longer to complete the process, however.

    • I'm hoping that posting the process that a bill takes through the legislative process will be educational for some readers, and if you have any questions about the process in your state (if different from Kentucky), I recommend visiting your state's legislative home page.  You should find a link similar to this one (How a bill becomes a law) somewhere on there.  Let me know if any questions.

ext_142685 on January 12th, 2009 09:16 pm (UTC)
Questions on your step-by-step process
I'm really interested in the entire process from beginning to end. What was your first step in getting the ball rolling? What happened next? Did you start by writing to individual theaters or by doing something else?

Thumpaflashthumpaflash on January 12th, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Questions on your step-by-step process
I first began by writing letters to the theater owner locally. After 3 letters, and a couple of phone calls, he did not respond to me at all in any way. So I talked to my local elected representatives at the state house level, explained my situation, and what research I had done on previously successful settlements in other states/areas (New Jersey was a prime example). I made sure to research the Deaf/Hard of Hearing numbers for the state, and thanks to an National institute of Health survey that had been done here, I was able to impress upon them just how many of their constituents in the areas they represented were either deaf or hard of hearing. Both of them stated they had no idea it was so prevalent and such a large number, and immediately they went to work drafting language for the bill... They followed my suggestions almost to the letter. After pre-filing the bills, when the housees convened for the start of a new session, they introduced the bills on the first day of work in each house. So now the waiting and lobbying game begins. It is important that you remember to try and save all your documentation (letters to the theaters, research you have done, etc.) so they can see first hand it is not just an emotional issue. Numbers tend to wake them up.