Part 1 -- Selection of Legislation and Building the Case -- due 2/8/11
1. Select a bill that will be heard in the upcoming session of the Florida Legislature [2011 Session begins March 8th]
a. Online Sunshine or go to www.leg.state.fl.us
b. Review both the House and the Senate by clicking on each of their logos. Go to BILLS on either page and you will have a list of various legislation that has been filed so far this year [NOTE: most bills have no action, few details, and no analysis as of 1/23/11]
c. NASW Florida (www.naswfl.org) and go to their legislative agenda [only 2010 coverage as of 1/23/11]
d. Florida Council for Mental Health (www.fccmh.org) [FCCMH has weekly updates for 2011 bill tracking]
or Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association (fadaa.org) [FADAA has nothing about specific bills as of 1/23/11] and select their legislative tab
e. Other organizations may include Florida Juvenile Justice Association [legislative alerts only available to members], Children's Home Society [2011 legislative priorities, but nothing about specific bills as of 1/23/11], Legal Services of Florida, Florida Council on Aging [FCOA has nothing about specific bills as of 1/23/11]
2. There will be three distinct sections to Part 1:
a. A description of the legislation -- summarize what the legislation will do, what is the law now, and what are the proposed changes.
b. What is the problem or problems the legislation is trying to address, how long has this problem been present (history of the problem), has this problem been addressed before through legislation, if yes, what was the outcome
c. Identify other agencies, networks, coalitions or other groups that might be interested in advocating for this bill and those who would advocate against this bill. What is their motivation to support for or against?
Government Program Summaries (Florida Legislature)
In this paper, you will choose a policy and describe the situations leading up to the policy. Specifically, you will describe the problem that the policy was intended to address, the prior treatment of the problem by the government, and the initial development of the policy.
Introduction -- Provide an introductory paragraph that summarizes the content of the paper.
Problem -- Describe the problem/issue that necessitated or preceded your policy. How widespread was the problem or issue? Identify all populations impacted by the problem, both directly and indirectly, including how they are impacted.
Prior Treatment of the Problem -- How was the problem/issue handled before your policy? Did the national government ignore the problem or leave the problem to be addressed by state or local entities? Describe any other legislation, on either the national or state level, that sought to address the same issue.
Policy Origins -- Describe how your policy originated. Who introduced and sponsored the policy? What were their motivations for sponsoring the policy? Did a person, agency, conference, or international body request that the policy be introduced?
Government Program Summaries provide the following information about state government agencies and programs:
Some useful encyclopedias include:
If the policy being researched is a federal law, then this Legislative Histories research guide may provide some assistance in answering the questions.
If you don't already know the Public Law (P.L.) and bill numbers, use Step 1 - Public Law number
Policy Origins -- Use Step 4 - Bill Tracking Report to identify who introduced the bill. Look in the Congressional Record for any remarks they made at the time of introduction indicating why they were introducing the bill.
Problem and Prior Treatment -- Use Step 2 - Locate overviews to identify background information. The narrative descriptions in Congressional Quarterly Almanac may identify attempts to deal with the problem in previous years. The legislative history section about a bill in U. S. Code Congressional & Administrative News may include committee reports with background information.
Resources identified in this guide may assist with specific sections of the paper.
NOTE: You should still conduct your research step-by-step in the numeric order of the steps in the guide, NOT in the numeric order of the sections in the paper or skippng around to whatever section catches your interest. The step-by-step procedures of the research guide are designed to give you a better understanding of the law and what happened with it BEFORE you start digging into the full documentation looking for details to answer specific questions.
2. Problem -- Describe the problem/issue that necessitated or preceded your policy. How widespread was the problem or issue? Identify all populations impacted by the problem, both directly and indirectly, including how they are impacted.
3. Prior Treatment of the Problem -- How was the problem/issue handled before your policy? Did the national government ignore the problem or leave the problem to be addressed by state or local entities? Describe any other legislation, on either the national or state level, that sought to address this same issue.
4. Policy Origins -- Describe how your policy originated. Who introduced and sponsored the policy? What were their motivations for sponsoring the policy? Did a person, agency, conference, or international body request that the policy be introduced?
5. Policy Process -- Summarize the process through which the bill passed. For example, did the bill stand alone or was it packaged together with other bills? What committees did the bill pass through? Was there any difficulty in obtaining a majority vote in favor of the bill? Was there any threat of veto?
6. Interest Groups -- Who were the opponents/supporters of this legislation in the political arena, e.g., groups, organizations, public and private citizens, etc. You must not only identify them but discuss why these groups/persons were opponents/supporters of the legislation, including any data or ideological arguments used.
7. Policy Impact -- Describe the impact of the policy. Did the policy achieve its goal in resolving the problem described in your first paper? What groups or persons benefited from or were impacted by this policy? Did the policy produce any unintended consequences?