Inside the Capitol Building 2011

Bill Writing Ideas and Tips

If you are planning to run for a state legislature position at Boys State, then we highly encourage you to write at least one bill before you come to Boys State, and bring it with you revised and ready to be debated! Having an issue that you are ready to push through the legislature can be something that you could use to get elected as well. Here are some tips to get you started!

Ideas For Your Bill

Ideas for bills can come from many places. Often citizens, interests groups or legislators themselves will come up with ideas for bills.

  • The bill should be something that you care about and believe in.
  • There are many ideas for bills that can be found in your own communities. Think of some issues that your community is faced with and how you would attempt to fix them. Look in your local newspaper or watch your local television news for ideas and information.
  • Other ideas can come from issues that are facing the State of Michigan right now. Again your local newspapers and television news are great sources of information.

Tips For Writing Your Bill

A bill is a proposal for some call to action, and when writing a bill there are some things that you should keep in mind.

  • Single Purpose: Your bill should have a single purpose and effect. There should be no more than one action per bill.
  • Importance to Boys State: Does this bill serve the public interest of the citizens of Boys State? Also ask yourself, who is affected by my bill? The more people that you are affecting, the better.
  • Feasibility: Is your bill realistic? Can your idea be carried out and who will pay for it? Cost is always a factor.
  • Debatability: Can your bill be debated? Is there an opposing side to your idea? If not you may want to rethink it and come up with another bill idea.
  • Constitutionality: Make sure that you bill is constitutional and would not be in violation of any laws. This may take some research on your part.
  • Penalties: What would be the penalties if a citizen violated the idea you are proposing? Who would enforce these penalties? It may be helpful to think about this or do some research on this.
  • Applicability: Is this an issue that the state has the power to deal with? You might want to check to make sure your issue is appropriate to the state legislature.

You can download and print out the form we use for bills below. You must have the Adobe Acrobat reader to view the file.

Download the form (billform.pdf, 17KB)

 
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