How to Write a Legislative Bill Have you ever had the urge to want to change someone’s perspective? Did you ever think you could make a difference? Were you aware that even students between the ages of eleven to twenty create bills that can become laws? According to the 2012 Youth in Government Student Manuel, more than 100 current West Virginia laws were first considered in the Youth in Government (YG) program. So, how are bills created? Step 1- Choose a bill topic.
The most important part of writing a Legislative bill is choosing a comfortable topic that you can relate to or make your own, as well as making it personal or influential to others too. Step 2- Search for a topic that will improve the state. Be creative and original; do not repeatedly write a bill someone else has already tried and failed in the previous years. Step 3- Prepare a preliminary draft of the bill. A. Search the library and internet for resources and materials to support your bill. Seek out authorities and ask their views and opinions of your bill.
Authorities can include representatives from Public Health, Education, Government, Law Enforcement, Economic Development, Business, Labor, Community Organizations, and Faith Groups, Etc. B. Weigh your proposed bill against the Constitution, using both State and Federal standards and consult with practiced law professionals, such as a lawyer or judge. C. State-oriented legislation must be within the constitutional authority of the State Government… not Federal Government. D. Select a section of the state code where your proposed bill “fits. ” Cite or (write) that section number in the Preamble of your bill.
Step 4- Ask peers or others to critique the bill to highlight arguments both for and against, as well as make suggestions for improvement. Step 5- Draft your bill in its correct format. Bills are typed as received, so make sure there are no grammatical errors; check your spelling, sentence structure, and code citations for correctness. Step 6- Research the bill topic for presentations to the Committee, Legislature, Lobbyists, the Governor and his or her Cabinet. Step 7- Now, your bill is ready for submission. Be sure to meet the proper deadline.
Never attempt to write a last minute bill, so you can make sure you feel confident and completely prepared when presenting. When deciding on a topic for your bill, you want to make it your own, and not what someone else created. People have similar ideas for bills, but may not have the proper wording; therefore, their bills are often voted down. Anyone can make a difference; you just have to be willing to go the extra mile to make it happen. I surely enjoyed the experience of stepping out from my comfort zone to participate in the amazing learning process of writing a Legislative Bill.
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