Guidelines for Developing Issue-Bill Summaries

Guidance for How to Develop Issue/Bill Summaries

cropped-roundhouse-photo2.jpgSelecting a prioritized list of bills. First, I am getting 5-10 issues / bills and even more from some folks. Your smaller groups need to prioritize this down a bit. With ten areas, if we have 100 bills identified, it will be too much for folks to track. If your small groups want to track ten that is fine, of course, but what I need from you now is at most 5 bills in your area. For criteria in selecting which to include, I’d say perhaps those bills with the best chance of passage or where with a little push could pass and /or the bills where a vote no or yes could really reveal a legislators progressive pedigree. For example, a vote no on SB 7 which would fund eliminating the rape kit backlog would be obscene. Imagine if the Gov vetoes it!!! Or a vote against some very principled, progressive initiative: the Health Security Act, even if it may not get to the Gov’s desk….a vote no on that shows someone who isn’t firmly committed to our emerging agenda. You are the ones best to judge which to include. I’d have to do some research to even take a bad stab at it.

Providing a concise summary. A structure is provided below, but here consider that we will have maybe 50 bills. If each is ½ page, folks would have to work through 25 pages of material. We want to make it easy. If we had all the time in the world (next year), we could do VERY brief info only pieces linked to a one-page analysis and maybe in a couople weeks we could get there, but for now, please provide the info in the following framework.

Issue Area: E.G. Environment or Election Reform

Bill Title: Ethics Commission

Bill #: SB 1 (sponsor name), HB 2 (sponsor name)

Bill Summary: Very brief 1-3 sentences about what the bill would do.

Why it is important. Very brief 1-3 sentences about its potential impact

How to get alerts on this bill: How we can sign up: email address, call?

Then repeat one after the other.

I will create a page in the website and I will continue to update that doc with new info as it arrives. I had asked Saraswati to take the info I had been getting and compile it into this format, but it would be far easier for all involved if each small group identified someone or someway to get this done before sending to me. If you have all the info but the bill has not been introduced, sent it along and we can get the bill number as bills are introduced. Thanks to all and to Sara for bringing this to my attention.