How to Analyze a Bill and Write a Strong Bill Analysis
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How to Analyze a Bill and Write a Strong Bill Analysis

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How to Analyze a Bill and Write a Strong Bill Analysis




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Presentation on theme: "How to Analyze a Bill and Write a Strong Bill Analysis"— Presentation transcript:

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How to Analyze a Bill and Write a Strong Bill Analysis

Nancy FariasDeputy Secretary, LegislationGovernment Operations Agency

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Objectives

Participants will understand the role of the Office of Legislative Affairs and how we interact with the Legislature and the Governor’s Office, and why this matters.Participants will learn how to analyze a billand write a strong and relevant bill analysis including:understanding, and developing positions

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What Legislative Affairs Does

Provide constituent services to the Legislature.Coordinate reports to the Governor or the Legislature.Sponsor legislation.Review every bill that is introduced.

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What Legislative Affairs Does 1

Analyze bills that affect/impact their Agency/Department/ Board:The Governor’s Office may request bills that need analyzing, orThe department may request to analyze bills that are of interest or that they may want to weigh in on.

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What Legislative Affairs Does 1

Lobby and testify at hearings on behalf of the approved, positionPrepare staff for hearings and meetings with the Legislature

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Role of the Legislative Deputy, or Legislative Coordinator

Ensures that all areas of concern are addressed in analyses, correspondence, and testimony with an emphasis on departmental and Administration policyAttend meetings and responds to inquiries

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Role of the Legislative Deputy, or Legislative Coordinator 1

Coordinate with other legislative offices.Be objective, analytical, concise, timely, and always work with staff.

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Provide Constituent Services

When a member of the public contacts the Legislature regarding a matter involving your department, your Legislative Affairs office is their contact for getting the matter resolved. As an analyst, if you receive a contact, you should forward it to your Legislative Affairs office. You may be asked to provide a written response, or other information to assist with resolving a constituent concern, please be timely in your reply.

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Coordinate Reports to the Legislature

Legislatively mandated reports or reports required in statute should be brought to the attention of your Legislative Affairs office. While at the Legislature, staff could be asked about these reports and they need to be aware of them and their content. There are times when old reporting requirements are eliminated through clean-up legislation. If you know of an expired or obsolete report in statute, notify your Legislative Affairs office.

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Example- Chapter 78, Statutes of 2012, SB 71, Leno

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Department Sponsored Legislation

Each department can sponsor legislation on issues that directly affect their department.If you know of a legislative change that should be made, suggest it to your Legislative Affairs office.Departments work with the Governor’s Office for approval of sponsored legislative requests.Keep in mind there are deadlines that the Legislative Affairs office has for submitting the proposals to the Governor for approval .

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Let’s Review the Process(Legislative Process Webinar provided on the CalHR Website )

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Committee Process

Bills are referred by the Rules Committee to policy and fiscal committees. Committee’s set the bills for hearing.Bills are not heard in policy committee until 30 days after they have been introduced and printed.

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Committee Process 1

Hearing dates are published in the Daily File. At this point, as an analyst, you may be asked to analyze the bill.Bills are also analyzed by the committee and their analyses are posted. Hearing held and bill voted on.

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Analyzing Bills

It is likely that you will analyze the same bill several times.It is beneficial to you as an analyst to subscribe to the bill that you have been asked to analyze. You can do that at www.Leginfo.ca.gov.Follow all amendments and be prepared to provide an amended analysis.

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Analyzing Bills 1

Anytime the Legislature is in Session, expect to provide analysis.At the end of session, expect due dates to be very short, sometimes 48 hours. Watch “Gut and Amends.”Be prepared and stay on top of the bill process!

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Why Me You Ask?

When you are asked to provide an analysis for your department, it is likely because you have the program expertise in that area — you are the expert, use your expertise to draft a thorough analysis and be timely.

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Things to Keep in Mind

How does this bill reflect on the Administration in regards to your department?Does this affect other departments too?Should you defer?

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Things to Keep in Mind 1

What is the political climate like? Does this bill fit into that? Does it cost or save money?Start with the end in mind, think of the end result and the future impact to your department.

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Start Thinking…..

Remember, requests for analyses can come from various places depending on your organizational structure.The Governor’s Office AgencyYour Department/Board/Bureau

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Start Thinking…..1

Your Secretary/Director, Legislative Deputy/Director, or Legislative Coordinator.Who is your audience?

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Almost Ready to Begin Your Actual Analysis

Always:Understand the BillRead the source documentsRead the supporting material

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Almost Ready to Begin Your Actual Analysis 1

Always:Speak to othersOther programs, legal, or other departmentsDo your research and ask questions!

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California Government Code

When looking at code section you will see there is a lot of helpful information.

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Review

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Now Let’s Begin, Step by Step

Start with a Summary and your recommended Position.Be clear—pretend the reader has little to no knowledge of the subject; make it clear to an uninformed reader.Positions include: Neutral—a bill your department likes.Oppose unless amended.

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Now Let’s Begin, Step by Step 1

Positions include (Cont’d): OpposeSupport—only if an Administration sponsored bill. No Analysis Required (NAR).Defer to another department

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Development of your Position

What does the impacted Program think?How will it affect the Administration’s, or your department’s policy or operations?Will it cost or save the state money?Are you the right department to handle the bill? Would an amendment help the bill? Is it just a bad bill?

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How to Write an Analysis Step by Step

The actual Analysis:Be succinct and concise; the analysis should be enough words to tell the story, but not wordy. Why do you need this bill; does the bill address the problem correctly? Be objective—maintain a professional attitude; avoid descriptive adjectives such as “dramatically” increases or “terrible” public policy

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How to Write an Analysis-Step by Step

The actual Analysis (Cont’d):Be analytical—program experts are in the best position to predict a bill’s impact on their program. Examine everything carefully to be certain no affects/impacts are missed. Discuss, Current Law, Proposed Changes, and any Issues.

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How to Write an Analysis-Step by Step 1

Legislative HistoryNote: Background program historyNote: Comparison to Other StatesIs there a cost? Note it!

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Is there a cost? (Cont’d)What are the Costs to implement?What are the funding sources?Is there an appropriation?Is this budgeted for in the Governor’s Budget?

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How to Write an Analysis-Step by

Step

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Is there a cost? (Cont’d)Are there revenues/savings/cost avoidances?Does the bill prevent fraud/waste?What are the economic impacts at the state and local levels?Who is fiscally impacted by this bill—other state agencies, locals?When does the bill go into effect, and for how long?Will regulations be required?

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How to Write an Analysis-Step by

Step

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Make note: is there a Legal Impact?This generally requires coordination with your Legal department. Note any relevant court cases. Legal & Constitutional interpretations.Always note if there are gubernatorial Appointments as a result of the bill.

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How to Write an Analysis-Step by

Step

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Who would Support/Oppose and what would the arguments Pro and Con be? Suggested Amendments (if any). If you have amendments, attach them at the end, but remember, never amend a bad bill. That should sum it up. Now review all that you’ve written!

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How to Write an

Analysis—Step

by

Step

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Don’t Forget:Every analysis has a deadline—internally and externally.The Governor’s Office will often ask for analyses with a quick turnaround time.Your analysis is expected to be well-written, well-thought-out and original!

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How to Write an Analysis-Step by

Step

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Don’t forget:Be accurate—Research facts thoroughly since the credibility of your department is at stake. Double check previous analyses.Be timely—Meeting deadlines is critical in order for the department to be effective in negotiating the desired outcome of legislation. Perspective—The philosophy, policies, and priorities change with each administration.

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How to Write an Analysis-Step by

Step

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Submit your analysis for approval. Remember:The Governor’s Office:Approves positions on bills.Office of Legislative Affairs:Makes “recommendations” to the Governor’s Office.

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How to Write an Analysis-Step by

Step

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Committee Process

Once there is an approved position, the position may be discussed/testified to.Letters maybe submitted noting your position. If you provide testimony, the Legislative Affairs office can draft talking points, and help you prepare. You can listen to the hearing over the internet.

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Prepare the Department for Hearings and Meetings

Committee Actions:The bill could be amended.Bill receives the votes necessary to pass from the Committee to the Floor (this is a majority vote). If the bill fails, reconsideration may be granted, or the bill may become stuck.

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Wrap it up: Enrolled Bill Reports (EBR)

If a bill has survived to the end of the legislative process, it will go the Governor. The Governor will request an EBR. An EBR is the final departmental analysis of bills that have passed the legislature

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Wrap it up: Enrolled Bill Reports (EBR) 1

This is confidential advice to the Governor’s Office, and a recommendation on whether to sign or veto a billGovernor’s office will often call with follow up questions – they want to get it right!

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Then it starts again next session!Conclusion

While the objective of this webinar is for you to write a strong bill analysis, we hope that familiarizing you with other things that your legislative office does will give you a bigger picture of all things being considered in legislation.Thank you and Best Wishes!

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Resources for Drafting Analyses

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Daily File

Daily History

Daily Journal

Legal Digest

Attorneys

Program Experts/SMEs

Prior Files/Bills/Analysis

Legislative Liaison

Hierarchy/Protocol within State/Agency

Local Federal Other State, NGOs, SOS, OAL

Existing Laws, Rules,

Regulations

Policies, Procedures, Training

Committee Consultants

County Library

State Library

LAO

West

Law

Archives

Author’s Office

Annotations

The WEB

Google

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Resources for Drafting Analyses 5

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www.leginfo.ca.gov

(LegInfo)

www.senate.ca.gov

(CA Senate)

www.assembly.ca.gov

(CA Assembly)

www.gov.ca.gov

(CA Governor)

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Questions and Contact Info

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Nancy

Farias

Deputy Secretary, Legislation

Government Operations Agency

(916) 651-9373

Nancy.Farias@GovOps.ca.gov

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