Assignment 1: LASA 2 Write Your Own Bill
You are a newly elected Member of Congress. It is up to you as to whether you are a Senator or a Representative from your State. You made several important promises during your campaign and now that you have taken your seat, you need to show the constituents you represent that you are going to fulfill at least one of these promises with a bill you write and introduce into your chamber.
- Choose a topic for your bill:
- Envision the constituents that elected you
- Imagine that you have interacted with your constituents
- What’s making news?
- Look to other states
- Look to your own experience
- Look at current logs and regulations
- Use the internet
- Research your bill topic:
- Look at existing law
- Explore various solutions to the issue
- Support your position with facts and figures
- Determine your support and opposition
- When writing your bill:
- Ensure clarity, organization and accuracy
- Ensure you are creating law
- Anticipate questions and concerns
- Proofread and check grammar
- Bill structure (see attached)
- Bill writing checklist (see attached)
Some links that may help you understand how to write a bill:
- Congressional Bills Web site http://www.gpo.gov
- USA.gov is the front door to every government website. http://www.usa.gov.
- Congressional Bills Search Tips Web Site http://www.gpo.gov/help/index.html#simple_search.htm
- Thomas (Library of Congress) http://thomas.loc.gov/home/lawsmade.toc.html
To complete this assignment, you must submit the completed Bill Structure Document that clearly illustrates all components of a professionally written bill and address all required elements of the assignment listed in the grading criteria below.
The assignment must be submitted as a Word document. Include APA formatted title and reference page. Be sure to cite any references used in APA format..
BILL WRITING CHECKLIST
Clarity of Bill’s Purpose
■ The title of the bill is broad and does not editorialize or mislead.■ Any definitions are clear and are in section 1.
The section needs to:
1) identifies the term to be defined
2) identifies the class to which the term belongs
3) identifies the difference between this term and all other in the class. For example: A computer catalog (term to be identified) is an index (class to which the term belongs) of all the books in a given library (difference between a computer catalog and all other indexes)
4) uses terminology suitable for the audience.
■ Any conditions placed on the application of the bill are clear (exceptions, limitations); use “if” at the start of the sentence.■ Purpose section and the body of the bill are consistent in their purposes■ Early sections contain the major part of what you want the bill to do■ The last section contains the enactment clause ■ The purpose of the bill is clear – i.e.; what will happen if it is enacted■ Sections are consistent (no contradictions within the bill)■ Actions are clearly stated
■ Solution proposed in the legislation is appropriate to the problem■ Solution is thorough and clear■ Definitions are clear ■
(SENATE OR HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES) OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Primary Sponsor:Rep. or Sen. _____________________
Secondary Sponsor: Rep. or Sen. _____________________
(NOTE: Every line must be numbered)
1. PURPOSE:(Briefly state what will be achieved by this bill.) The purpose of this bill is to . . . 2. 3. The (Senate or House of Representatives) of the United States of Americahereby enacts as follows: 4. 5. SECTION 1:Short Title6. This act shall be known and may be cited as the “YOUR TITLE HERE” Act7. 8. SECTION 2:DEFINITIONS9. Suggestion: address the definitions section AFTER writing the rest of the bill. Read through the bill and pull out unfamiliar terms or terms that10. should be defined in order to strengthen the bill.11. 12. SECTION 3:(SECTION TITLE)13. Use as many sections as necessary to describe your proposed course of action. Each new idea should begin a new section. This is the HOW of 14. your proposal and not the WHY. Save your arguments for debate.15. 16. SECTION __:Funding17. What are the cost implications of your proposal. Will the government incur costs due to this bill? Does your bill authorize funding (i.e. a new tax or 18. fee to pay for the proposal)? What department or or agency would be responsible for funding19. 20. SECTION __:Regulations21. Which department or agency would be responsible for implementing the bill (regulations and enforcement responsibilities)?22. 23. SECTION __:Penalties(for example: misdemeanor/felony; fines for disobedience)24. 25. SECTION __:Effective Date26. This bill shall take effect . . . (how long after passage before the law is implemented)