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Legislation
University of Dayton School of Law
Cox, Jeannette

LEGISLATION OUTLINE
 
 
PUBLIC LAW- defines the legal relationship between citizens and their government (ie. enacted law: statutes, admin regulations, constitutions, treaties, etc.) In theory, public law is superior to private law. The legislature can alter common law (eg. UCC). Courts can’t create, amend, or repeal a statute.
·        Private law- disputes between private citizens; torts, contract law, etc.
·        Courts cant create, amend, or appeal a statute
 
 
MECHANICS OF LEGISLATION: HOW A FEDERAL BILL BECOMES LAW
 
House of Representatives
1) Origination of the bill ( By executive agency, political interest group, individual member, bill drafting agency)
2) Introduction of bill by member
3) Referral to standing committee by leadership
 
4) Committee Action
·        Possible referral to subcommittee
·        Possible open or closed hearings
·        Committee may: a) disregard b) defeat c) accept and report d) amend and report e) rewrite
 
5) Schedule legislative consideration: Calendars:
            i) Union (revenue and appropriations)
            ii) House (public)
            iii) Private (claims)
            iv) Consent (minor)
            v) Discharge (remove bills from committee)
6) Bill sent to Rules Committee (major bills)
·        Sets the terms on how a bill will be debated on the House floor
7) Floor Action
·        Committee of the Whole-amendments proposed (entire chamber)
1)      General Debate
·        Second Reading (most amendments are made on the 2nd reading)
2)      Amendment
3)      Vote
 
Then to the Senate………….
 
 
 
 
 
Senate
1)      Referral to Standing Committee by Leadership
2)      Committee Action: similar to the House
3)      Calendars (less elaborate than House)
            No Rules Committee; bill must be accepted by unanimous consent
4)      Conference Committee
5)      Bill signed by Speaker and Vice-President
 
Then to the President…………
 
Executive
President may: a) Approve b) Veto c) Pocket Veto (fails to sign and the legislature adjourns w/ the ten day period) d) Permit bill to become law w/ out signature
 
Terms/ Definitions:
a)      Simple Resolution- governs the organization or procedure in one of the houses and are known as “house” or “senate” resolutions.
b)      Joint resolution- a resolution ado

measure added to a bill late in the legislative process, with the intention that it will “ride” through.
 
Committees- the purpose of a committee is so a bill can properly be reviewed and evaluated. Committees provide expertise on specific issues of a bill. They determine the value of the bill.
 
 
All bills are not required to be sent to a committee (eg. Senate Rule). The committee can iron out difficulties w/ a bill and build a consensus in favor of it.
·        A bill is sometimes sent to several different committees because it involves several different issues.
·        Parliamentary Differences between the House and the Senate
·        The senate in many ways has more power than the house and consequently abide by different rules. Eg. the senate does not use a Rules Committee but instead has a “unanimous consent agreement” which means the rule must be accepted by all senators as opposed to a single committee.