Youth in Government Shawnee Mission School District
Agenda • Welcome and Introductions • Committees • Bill Writing • Wrap up and Announcements
Kansas Legislature House committees Senate committees
YIG committees Education Social Welfare Health and Safety Transportation Environmental Miscellaneous
Committee Assignments Are based on what your bill is about.
Title of your bill. Don’t write this until you have finished with the bill. The title should in essence tell what your bill is all about. • The sections break down the main parts of your bill.
The Committee • This is where most of the work of law making takes place.
What happens in committee ? • You have the opportunity to present your bill for committee consideration • Discuss the pros and cons of key issues • Amend and draft a bill on each issues as a group through debate and make each piece of proposed legilation ready for presentation in the Legislative session.
Committees • Chairman – must have prior YIG experience • Vice Chairman • Clerk • Sgt. Of Arms
Basic breakdown of Committee work in Topeka Rules of Debate for a Bill • Reading of the bill • Authorship speech (2 minutes). This is where you convince your committee of the importance of your bill. Do your research!
Questions of the author (90 seconds - - read the bills before committee) • Negative Speech (1 minute max) • Affirmative Speech (1 minute max) • Final Author summary • Vote (called for by the committee chair) Yeas v. Nays
Bills to the House or the Senate • Most bills will die in committee • Some will be amended • Bills will be prioritized and then sent to the calendar committee for presentation to the Committee of the Whole
Youth in Government Bills • Your bill must be submitted Friday, Nov 9th electronically in final form prior to 4:00 p.m. No exceptions. • For the next meeting you must have a written copy of your bill. • Bill template can be obtained at http://www4.smsd.org/deborahbrown/
The Bill Template Electronic version • Available from your sponsor • Available from Deb Brown’s web back pack http://www4.smsd.org/deborahbrown/ • Available by emailing Deb Brown firstname.lastname@example.org
Writing a bill - - how do I start? Find a need • Where do I see a need in my community OR where do I see a need in my state? • Is there something that I feel really strongly about and I want to make a difference?
Bills • Make sure your bill topic is attempting to create, modify or delete a Kansas State law. If your bill idea deals with an issue in which the Federal government has jurisdiction or is a state resolution (example: changing the state bird, creating a state card game, etc), you should find a different topic. Your sponsors can explain a bit more about jurisdiction.
You may not submit a bill that is substantially similar to a bill that was passed in the previous program year. If you submit a resolution, a bill for a Federal law or one that is too similar to a passed bill from the previous year, you will be asked to start over.
Once you have an idea….. • Go through the work packet • RESEARCH! This is key to a good bill.
For example, if your bill deals with increasing the frequency of drivers’ tests for senior citizens, you might want to find out how many accidents were caused by different age ranges of drivers. • Develop a number of arguments as to why there is a problem that deserves a solution and then set out to find data that reinforce your beliefs. • It’s kind of like the scientific method from your science classes: develop a hypothesis and then find the data that you need to support it.
As you research….. Think like a debater • What if someone is against your bill? Be prepared with research to defend your position and to refute those that might not agree.
Now, begin to write a bill that will solve the issue or problem. • Your advisor will be a big help. They can show you other bills from previous years. This year, bills will have more detail. • If you need to, you can go to other YIG sites and legislative sites for help.
Find time to write your bill • You need to bring you bill to the next pre-leg meeting.
The body of the Bill needs to state: • What the bill does • Any penalties for not following the law (if there are any) • Funding sources (if the law will cost money or other resources when implemented) • When the bill goes into effect (provide ample time).
What the Bill does In the first section, you should directly say what your bill does. If your bill bans smoking within 50 feet of the entrance to any licensed child care facility, then say “No smoking shall be allowed within 50 feet of the entrance to any licensed child care facility.”
If there are any other details that are needed to clarify how the bill works, or any other items that should be included or excluded, they should be listed in the sections following your first section. There should not be any opinions, background information or potential debate defenses in your bill. All of that should be left to your bill brief and your comments during debate time.
What is the punishment or consequecne? • Is it a felony? Is it a misdemeanor? What class? Is there a fine involved? Are there scaled penalties for subsequent offenses? Whatever the answers, detail them in a section by itself.
Also, detail who has the responsibility of enforcing the law (State police, local police, state agency, etc). In the next section, funding sources need to be spelled out in detail. Will there be a tax? Will fines from this or another offense pay for the program?
How much will it cost? • Also, make sure that you do enough research to get a good idea of how much the bill will cost to implement so that you can determine how much will have to be raised to cover it. Don’t make the mistake of creating a bill that will cost $10,000,000 but then outlining funding that will only raise $50,000 a year.
Also, don’t make the mistake of not providing a funding source if your bill will need it. If it isn’t there, you will definitely be asked about it in committee.
When will it go into effect? • Finally, you have to say when the bill will go into effect. The bill always has to have the signature of the Youth Governor and usually has an effective date. Usually something like: “This bill will go into effect June 1, 2013 upon the signature of the Youth Governor of the State of Kansas.”
Check over your work and ask for feedback. • You will have an additional opportunity to make adjustments to your bill before the bill due date. • Other participants will provide you with feedback during the pre-legislative meetings.