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Bill Drafting

The following offices MUST SPONSOR at least one bill

  • Senate Committee Chairperson
  • House Committee Chairperson
  • Lobbyist
  • Governor's Cabinet

We strongly suggest that every participant draft a bill or be at least a co-sponsor of a bill.

 

 

A bill is a proposed law.  In the Maine State Legislature, only members of the House or the Senate may submit bills.  At Model Legislature and Assembly any participant may submit a bill.  Any participants may submit more than one bill.  Two or three participants may work together to co-sponsor a bill, but only one is to list as the sponsor, the others will be listed as co-sponsors.  We strongly suggest that every participant sponsor or co-sponsor a bill, it makes the weekend much more fun and interesting working to get your bill all the way through the process.

 

 

BILL TOPICS

A bill can be written on any topic.  Keep a few things in mind when developing ideas for your bill

  • Your bill should be a solution to a problem you see
  • Your bill can be related to a local, statewide or national issue
  • Your bill should be limited to one issue 
  • Your bill should not be a copy of a bill from last year's program

Places to find bill topics

  • Look for an issue in your school or community
  • Watch or read local news to see if can find an issue
  • Read through sample bills on this site to find an idea
  • Look a Maine Legislature website to get ideas 

Sample Bills from past years

 

DRAFTING YOUR BILL

In drafting your idea answer the following questions. These questions are on the State of Maine website in the section where Legislators go to submit new bills. They are told they must be able to answer these questions in order to submit a bill. To look up existing bills or get other information about drafting a bill checkout:

  • What is the problem you are seeking to address?
  • What is your proposed solution?
  • Who is being directed to implement your proposal?
  • How will it be enforced?
  • Are there any penalties?
  • Are you aware of any other states that have tried your proposed solution? If so, which states?
  • Has this solution been proposed to the Maine Legislature in the past? If so, when?

 

STRAIGHT FACE TEST

Bills must follow a couple of general principals to be considered for submission to the Augusta Session. The bill must pass the straight-face test.

  • Is this bill an original idea? Bills having been submitted in previous Youth in Government programs will not be accepted unless there have been additions or deletions from the original bill
  • Would you submit this bill to the actual legislature? Would you be willing to stand before the actual legislature and defend this bill, and take the time of the actual legislature to hear this bill?