Bill topics must cover state issues and not



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Bill topics must cover state issues and not

  • Bill topics must cover state issues and not

  • federal issues.

  • Additional information/handouts will be given to

  • you to help you select your bill topic.

  • Once your topic is chosen and approved by an

  • advisor, you are ready to start writing your bill.



The caption of the bill is that portion of the bill placed at the very beginning which expresses the topic/subject of the bill. The most common wording for the beginning of the caption is “An act relating to______”, but if you want to limit possible amendments to your bill, more specific language can be chosen such as “An act prohibiting, limiting, increasing, etc._____.” Please note that in a Y&G bill, the caption must always end with the words “and declaring an emergency.”

  • The caption of the bill is that portion of the bill placed at the very beginning which expresses the topic/subject of the bill. The most common wording for the beginning of the caption is “An act relating to______”, but if you want to limit possible amendments to your bill, more specific language can be chosen such as “An act prohibiting, limiting, increasing, etc._____.” Please note that in a Y&G bill, the caption must always end with the words “and declaring an emergency.”



Write your caption:

  • Write your caption:

  • An act ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ and declaring an emergency.



DO THIS LAST!

  • DO THIS LAST!

  • We will come back to this part.



The Provision Section of the bill is the most important section of the bill. This is where the law itself will be stated or any change to an existing law will be stated. If passed, the provisions of the bill become part of the Texas State Statues. For that reason, formal language should be used.

  • The Provision Section of the bill is the most important section of the bill. This is where the law itself will be stated or any change to an existing law will be stated. If passed, the provisions of the bill become part of the Texas State Statues. For that reason, formal language should be used.



You should not express your personal opinions in the provisions. That will be done when you debate the bill. The provisions must contain positive action words and phrases such as “shall”, “must”, “shall be punished by”, “shall be required”, etc. Words and phrases to avoid include “would”, “should”, “will”, or any statement not requiring or prohibiting specific actions.

  • You should not express your personal opinions in the provisions. That will be done when you debate the bill. The provisions must contain positive action words and phrases such as “shall”, “must”, “shall be punished by”, “shall be required”, etc. Words and phrases to avoid include “would”, “should”, “will”, or any statement not requiring or prohibiting specific actions.



An example of an appropriately written provision would be, “The maximum speed for any motor vehicle traveling on a public roadway in the state of Texas shall be set at fifty miles per hour.” A bad provision might read, “Cars traveling in Texas should not drive as fast as they do.”

  • An example of an appropriately written provision would be, “The maximum speed for any motor vehicle traveling on a public roadway in the state of Texas shall be set at fifty miles per hour.” A bad provision might read, “Cars traveling in Texas should not drive as fast as they do.”



  • Note that provisions cannot conflict with the caption (intent) of the bill.



Depending on the subject matter of your bill, you might need only

  • Depending on the subject matter of your bill, you might need only

  • one provision or you might need several. Taking into consideration

  • what you have read about provisions, write your provisions in the

  • following blanks. If you need more than three provisions, add them.

  • A._________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • B._________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • C.________________________________________________________________________________________________________



The Penalty Section is optional depending on the specific nature of the bill. Most bills will actually need penalties to enforce the law that is being established. Any bill that makes an act a crime must provide a penalty or penalties. The penalties should always be reasonable for the crime (8th Amendment of the US Constitution).

  • The Penalty Section is optional depending on the specific nature of the bill. Most bills will actually need penalties to enforce the law that is being established. Any bill that makes an act a crime must provide a penalty or penalties. The penalties should always be reasonable for the crime (8th Amendment of the US Constitution).



Some bills will not need penalties. An example would be a bill establishing a new state agency. Once the bill passes, the agency will be created. The government would not fine itself for not establishing the agency; they must establish it by the very law itself.

  • Some bills will not need penalties. An example would be a bill establishing a new state agency. Once the bill passes, the agency will be created. The government would not fine itself for not establishing the agency; they must establish it by the very law itself.



Determine if your bill needs penalties to enforce the law that it is creating. (Ask your advisor to help you determine whether or not you need penalties.)

  • Determine if your bill needs penalties to enforce the law that it is creating. (Ask your advisor to help you determine whether or not you need penalties.)

  • If they are needed, list them in the blanks below. Some bills will only need one

  • penalty, but other bills might need several.

  • If you need to add more than three penalties, write them on the back of this page.

  • If you do not need penalties, you can cross out this section of the worksheet.

  • A._________________________________________________________________

  • __________________________________________________________________

  • B._________________________________________________________________

  • __________________________________________________________________

  • C._________________________________________________________________

  • __________________________________________________________________



Now review your bill to see if there are any

  • Now review your bill to see if there are any

  • words used in the Caption, Provisions, or

  • Penalties that need to be defined. If you

  • determine that there are, return to your Definition

  • Section and list and define the words. If you

  • need to define more than three words, write

  • additional ones on the back of that page.

  • If you do not need to define any words, cross out

  • the definition section of the worksheet.



Some bills will need definitions depending on the words used in the Caption, Provisions, and/or Penalties.

  • Some bills will need definitions depending on the words used in the Caption, Provisions, and/or Penalties.

  • Even though the Definition Section is first on your bill, you will need to come back to this section after you have completed your provisions and penalties.

  • Only words that are technical, unfamiliar or ambiguous should be defined.

  • If you do not need to include definitions in your bill, when you enter your bill on the template, you will delete that section from your bill template and renumber the sections.



After completing your Provision and Penalties Sections, if you determine that you need to define some words, list them and define them:

  • After completing your Provision and Penalties Sections, if you determine that you need to define some words, list them and define them:

  • A.______________________________________________________________________________________

  • B.______________________________________________________________________________________

  • C.______________________________________________________________________________________



The Effective Date listed on the bill template (form) is the effective date that nearly all bills should use, but there are some bill subjects that would be exceptions. Since the Youth and Government Youth Legislature meets and adjourns in January or February, the laws would go into effect in April or May. If your bill changes a course requirement for the public schools in Texas, it would be impossible to add a required course in April or May. Therefore, the effective date for a law like that should be at the beginning of the following school year. Ask your advisor to help you determine the appropriate effective date for your bill.

  • The Effective Date listed on the bill template (form) is the effective date that nearly all bills should use, but there are some bill subjects that would be exceptions. Since the Youth and Government Youth Legislature meets and adjourns in January or February, the laws would go into effect in April or May. If your bill changes a course requirement for the public schools in Texas, it would be impossible to add a required course in April or May. Therefore, the effective date for a law like that should be at the beginning of the following school year. Ask your advisor to help you determine the appropriate effective date for your bill.



Do not make any changes to the:

  • Do not make any changes to the:

  • REPEALER CLAUSE

  • SEVERABILITY CLAUSE

  • EMERGENCY CLAUSE

  • Leave the text as is.



  • Now you are ready to enter this information on the bill template (form).



1. Double click on the heading to enter the appropriate information.

  • 1. Double click on the heading to enter the appropriate information.

  • 2. Do not change the words at the top of the page that read: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

  • 3. Be sure that you end the caption with the words, “and declaring an emergency.”

  • 4. Also do not delete the statement, “Be it enacted by the YMCA Youth Legislature of the State of Texas”

  • 5. As you list definitions, provisions, or penalties, use capital letters (A. B. C…..) Follow basic outlining rules: if you only have one provision, definition, or penalty, you do not use an A to designate the provision, etc.



6. If you do not have any definitions, delete the DEFINITION section and renumber the PROVISION section as Roman numeral #I.

  • 6. If you do not have any definitions, delete the DEFINITION section and renumber the PROVISION section as Roman numeral #I.

  • 7. If you do not have a PENALTIES section, delete this section and renumber the additional sections with the correct, consecutive Roman numeral.

  • 8. If you need a different EFFECTIVE DATE than the one listed, change the effective date that is on the template.

  • 9. Do not make any changes to the REPEALER CLAUSE, SEVERABILITY CLAUSE, or the EMERGENCY CLAUSE.



10. When you save the bill, use Save As and save your bill under your own name.

  • 10. When you save the bill, use Save As and save your bill under your own name.



  • You have completed writing your Bill!

  • Submit it to your Advisor to review/edit.

  • Be sure to save any edits that you have made to your bill.

  • Submit final copy to your Advisor.

  • Make sure to bring a copy of your bill to the Conference.




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