How a bill really becomes law


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This session provides an in-depth look at the
responsibilities for members of the MSCSA Platform Committee.

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How a bill really becomes law

  1. 1. …And all the roadblocks on the way! How a Bill Becomes Law
  2. 2.  Bills typically come from one of four sources: ◦ Constituents ◦ Elected officials themselves ◦ Interest groups ◦ State agencies  The legislative process is a multi- faceted process with lots of potential stumbling blocks. How a Bill Becomes Law
  3. 3.  Steps in the process: ◦ Drafting and introduction:  Revisor’s Office  House Research and Senate Counsel  Role of the Member ◦ Committee hearing:  Bills must navigate every committee in which they may have an impact (tuition work group would have required four committee stops).  Bill Is open to amendment in this process. How a Bill Becomes Law
  4. 4.  Steps in the process (cont): ◦ Floor debate and vote:  Both chambers must pass a version off the floor.  Bill is open to amendment in this process. ◦ Conference committee:  If there are differences between the two versions, representatives of the House and Senate meet to work them out.  Bills must be IDENTICAL in order to be sent to the Governor. How a Bill Becomes Law
  5. 5.  Back the floors: ◦ Once a conference committee reaches agreement the final version must be re- passed by both chambers. ◦ A “conference report” is not amendable.  Off to the Governor: ◦ Signature ◦ Veto How a Bill Becomes Law
  6. 6. How a Bill Becomes Law
  7. 7. What Bill the bill didn’t teach us…
  8. 8.  The legislative process can often be full of roadblocks.  In some situations, one member can prevent a bill from moving through the process. For example: ◦ Committee chairs ◦ Leadership ◦ Authors Sometimes, it’s not that simple!
  9. 9.  Committee deadlines can cause bills to “die.”  At the start of each session joint deadlines between the House and Senate are agreed upon. Those deadlines are: ◦ 1st policy deadline: The date at which a bill must be heard in its first policy committee in one of the two chambers ◦ 2nd policy deadline: The date at which a bill must be passed through all its policy committee stops ◦ 3rd deadline: Bills must be through all policy and finance committees  There are exceptions to these deadlines: ◦ Rules Committee ◦ Tax and Capital investment bills Sometimes, it’s not that simple!
  10. 10.  There are alternative ways to pass bills.  These alternate ways can work, but they can also be very tricky. They include: ◦ Offered as a committee amendment ◦ Offered as a floor amendment ◦ Included in an omnibus bill  MSCSA’s legislative agenda was, in part, moved in some of these alternative ways due to the roadblocks discussed earlier. Other ways to pass your bills?
  11. 11.  PSEO Advertising legislation: ◦ Received a hearing in the House E-12 Policy Committee and passed on a 10-1 vote. ◦ Chair of House Higher Education requested the bill to his committee and refused to hear. ◦ Bill was heard in the Senate E-12 Policy Committee and was tabled. ◦ Nearly identical language was later added to the policy omnibus bill on the House floor. ◦ Language survived conference committee and was included in the conference report. Real Life Example
  12. 12.  PSEO Cont: ◦ The conference report was awaiting action on the Senate floor. ◦ Senate Majority Leader objected to this provision and initially refused to bring the report up for a vote. ◦ Language repealing our change was included in a different bill. Real Life Example
  13. 13.  Be able to present on relevant research topics at regional meetings  Rep & Alt should be working together and maintain constant contact  Communicate with GC Rep and campuses in region regularly to gather feedback on legislative and policy issues facing the region or the state.  Attend all regional meetings and conferences to represent your region and report back on initiatives you and your region are taking on.  Stay in contact with Kerrie, ask questions, and participate in discussion/debate. Feel free to contact at any time.   HAVE FUN! Expectations
  14. 14.  Serve on the MSCSA Platform Committee representing their region(s)  Conduct independent research on important legislative/policy issues in higher ed.  Assist the MSCSA in organizing their regions to attend Advocacy events.  Set the legislative agenda for the year and make recommendations for the Platform document.  Ask questions and engage in the issues! Duties
  15. 15.  Please pair up for this project!  Work together to answer as many of the questions as possible!  With the exception of questions 9 and 10, answers can be found on legislative websites or sites linked to these pages: ◦ ◦ Let’s do some research!