So, you've got an idea for a bill. What to do next, you ask?
Here is an overview of how the Legislative Process in Idaho works:
1. A bill is drafted, and sent to legislative staff. Staff puts the draft into the appropriate format, and assigns a "Routing Slip" or "R.S." number.
2. The RS is then referred to the appropriate committee for print (often State Affairs). At this stage, those for and against will have the chance to provide limited testimony to the committee. The committee will then vote to refer the RS "to print." If the committee votes to do so (which usually happens), the bill will be assigned a bill number. If the committee votes against sending the bill to print, the bill dies.
3. The bill is read on the Floor for "First Reading," and referred to the appropriate committee by the Speaker.
4. The committee chairman will decide whether or not to schedule the bill for hearing. Sometimes, the Chairman will "pigeonhole" the bill, and the bill will die (if this happens, there is a Motion that can be made on the Floor of the full House or Senate to take it out of committee; however, these rarely pass). If scheduled for hearing, the Committee will then hear more detailed testimony on the bill, pro and con. It is at this stage where it is important to have all of your data in order, and to get as many people to the hearing to support your side.
5. After the hearing, the Committee will vote to take action on the bill. They can: (a) Amend the bill; (b) hold the bill, which will kill it; (c) send to the floor with a "do not pass" recommendation; (c) send to the floor with no recommendation; (d) send to "General Orders", where it can be Amended by the entire body; (e) send the bill to the floor with a "do pass" recommendation; or (f) refer it to another committee. Again, if the bill is "held" in committee, there is a Motion that can be made on the Floor of the full House or Senate to take it out of committee; however, again, these rarely pass.
6. If the bill is sent to the Floor, it is read on the Floor for "Second Reading," with a report of the Committee's action. Occasionally (usually with important legislation and toward the end of the session), a member can move to suspend the rules so that the bill can be voted on for passage at this stage, which requires a 2/3 vote. Otherwise, the bill will be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.
7. At "Third Reading," this is where the bill is debated on the Floor. After debate, the full body can either: (a) vote it down, which kills the bill; (b) send it to "General Orders," where the full body may make amendments to the bill at a later time; or (c) pass the bill. If the bill passes, it is then referred to the other Chamber (House or Senate, depending on where it started), and the process is repeated. If it is amended in the other chamber, the amended version must be voted on again. If the other chamber passes the bill, it is then referred to the Governor for either signature or veto. However, late in the session, it is possible that the Legislature can adjourn before the other chamber has a chance to act on the bill. If this happens, the bill is said to have "died on the order paper," and it is defeated.
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities for procedural fanagling, which can either severely water down legislation, or kill it entirely. As such, if you anticipate that your bill will be controversial, getting it introduced early in the session is key. Even more so if it is a bill that is popular among "the people," but not the politicians, since they will do all they can to delay it and "run out the clock," to avoid having to take a position on the matter. Also, it is important to speak with members of the committee to which your bill is going to be referred for a print hearing, and for a full hearing, so that you can AT LEAST get a legislator to move to introduce the bill (for example, the recent Sound Money bill died for lack of a motion at the print hearing).
Another thing to keep in mind is that, unlike Congress, Idaho Legislators have NO STAFF, and have to go back to their "day jobs" after the session is over. They are ordinary citizens, and only paid $16,000 per year for their trouble. As such, other than the limited assistance offered by Legislative Services and high school pages, they need YOUR HELP in gathering the data needed in support of your bill.
Read further on the Idaho Legislature web site.
On Thursday evening, June 2, 2011 Paul Ryan, Republican Congressman from Wisconsin and Chairman of the House Budget Committee delivered the following speech to a meeting of the Alexander Hamilton Society in Washington DC. The remarkable part of the speech, given by one of the foremost voices on budgeting and finance in congress, is its depth and understanding of US foreign policy. Congressman Ryan has been mentioned several times as potentially running for the office of the President of the US. This speech certainly advances his credentials in that direction. --rwl
Thank you so much, Rich, for the kind introduction.
Some of you might be wondering why the House Budget Committee chairman is standing here addressing a room full of national security experts about American foreign policy. What can I tell you that you don't already know?
"We shall be governed either by ourselves, under a Constitution, or else we shall be governed by the new kind of master invented in our day, the bureaucrat, and by the impenetrable web of rules that he fabricates and enforces. Let us stand together against the rule of bureaucracy, and for liberty and the Constitution." -- Larry P. Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, "Imprimus," November 2011
The role of money is mostly portrayed as the instrument of greed, instead of its more prominent role as a daily instrument of freedom. When a worker spends his money, the purchase is a vote of support for another worker's product or service. The transaction is an exchange of value given freely and received with confidence and good faith.