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Process for Passing Legislation

Tim Mulligan

Energizing California's Legislature

How to Inspire Legislative and Electorate Action about an Electric Vehicle

I have recently invented a solar-electric hybrid vehicle that can have immensely results on drivers of California, and it could also facilitate a significant reduction in the use of fossil fuels in the state. For my invention to get more prevalence throughout their state and to begin making these changes, I will have to have a bit of legislation passed. I think that individuals who purchase one of my hybrid vehicles should be entitled to a $4, 000 tax credit because of the positive impact they are experiencing on the surroundings. There are many ways to start this.

Legislative Process

In order for this appropriations bill to be passed by the California legislature, a number of things need to occur. I first need to contact my congressman and inform him about my product and the idea that I've for a piece of legislature. That is my primary involvement in the legislative process as I've the chance to consult with my congressman on the merits of my product and the legislation that I'd like passed. The legislative process starts when either my state senator or my state assemblyman decides to author the bill for me personally. After my congressman has authored my bill, it is delivered to the Legislative Counsel to be officially drafted into a bill. The newly drafted bill will be repaid to my congressman so that it can be introduced to his or her congressional house, the Senate, or the Assembly. My congressman will read the proposed bill to his/her congressional house and the bill will be sent to any office of State Printing never to be dealt with for 30 days. Next will be the committee hearings. The bill is delivered to the guidelines Committee where it will be reviewed to see which policy committees in which it requires to be seen. Because of this specific bill, I think that it would be delivered to committees such as the Appropriations Committee, Environmental Safety and Toxins Committee, Natural Resources Committee and the Revenue and Taxation Committee. It is because the bill deals with a $4, 000 tax credit for folks and also because my product comes with an impact on the environment and our use of natural resources. These committees can pass the bill as it is out forth by my congressman, pass it with amendment, or they can defeat the bill. In case the bill survives the committee process it is then read a second and third time, accompanied by a roll call vote within the congressman's congressional house. As an appropriations bill, it could need 27 votes in the senate and 54 votes in the state assembly to be passed. If the bill passes after undergoing this whole process in one of the congressional houses, the procedure is then repeated in the other house. If both housed approve the bill, it is then sent to the governor where he can either sign it, let it become law without his signature, or he is able to veto it.

Use of Lobbyists, Interest Groups and Campaign Contributions

The most significant way that I could help my legislation get passed is by using lobbyists and interest groups. Lobbyists and interest groups often have very close relationships with members of congress and their influence in the legislative process is invaluable. I would need to employ lobbyists from environmental groups to help talk to my congressman advantages that my hybrid vehicle would bring to the state of California. Interest groups can mobilize my idea within the population and lobbyists can promote my idea face to face with my congressman. Campaign contributions are also incredibly influential in the legislative process because there are many interest groups, lobbyists and corperations that can influence congressmen by either contributing to their campaign funds in substitution for legislative action, or they can withdraw their often massive contributions if the congressman will not support legislature that suits their finest interests.

Using Direct Democracy

I could also take the route of direct democracy in order to get my legislation passed. This would occur through the initiative process. I would need to produce a request for a title and summary for my proposal. Because this technique is so expensive I'd most likely have to have the help of lobbyists or interest groups. I would also have to hire attourney's so that my proposal can be drafted in proper legal text. After the attourney general has prepared a title and summary for my initiative, it is on to the signature process. I would need to acquire a quantity of signatures in support for the initiative that is equal to the full amount of votes that were casted for any governor candidate in the last gubernational election. EASILY indeed allocate this many signatures, the Secretary of State includes the initiative in the next general election and any special elections after the intitiatives qualifying.

Waging an effective Direct Democracy Campaign

After I've successfully brought my initiative to the ballot, I will need to campaign for it so that I can see that it's passed in the next election. At this point there is no doubt that I'll need aid from interest groups, not limited to their public influence but also for their campaign funds. I will need to choose a sponsor that not only has funds but also offers the ability to reach the voters. Research will need to be funded not only to analyze the actual benefits of my hybrid vehicle and the tax credit that it could bring individuals, but to analyze the public judgment and how voters can best be reached. Focus groups will help me to build up my strongest arguments for why my bill should be passed and these ideas will be put forth in advertisements. Television advertisements, radio advertisements and hired interest group lobbyists will be my primary means of campaigning for people to pass my legislation.

Pros and Cons of Legislative Process/ Direct Democracy

I assume that direct democracy would be the strongest means of getting my hybrid car tax credit passed into legislation. I believe that bills that are proposed to the legislation are often impeded by the partisanship of the members of Congress. This is true not only on the federal level but at their state level. I feel that lobbyists can only just propel a bill so far in to the legislature before partisanship will defeat it, or amend it beyond its primary purpose. The legislative process is an excellent safeguard for mitigating the number of laws that are passed as well as intensely analyzing their contents before they can be passed. But, I do not assume that the legislative process would serve my bill well. Direct democracy will be a good method of getting my legislation passed because I believe it might be easy to mobilize voters on the bill that could potentially credit them $4, 000 for purchasing an already money saving car. The preservation of natural resources is an issue that increasing numbers of people are agreeing upon today and I really do not think that anybody would be against a tax credit. I feel that my only problem with the direct democracy route would be actually mobilizing visitors to vote. Because this bill really only effects those who find themselves purchasing my vehicle, the quantity of people that would wish to vote for it would be very small. People do seldom vote on things that they feel do not have an effect in it and that could be problem as it pertains to mobilizing the electorate to consider my car that effects a small group.

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