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Collaborative Learning in Course Simulations
Unformatted Document Text:  Van Vechten, 24 II. BILL PROPOSAL AND BILL JUSTIFICATION ASSIGNMENT Due 10/17/05 DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER Due 10/17 OR 10/19 This assignment has three parts: 1. Propose and Submit a Bill . Choose or construct a piece of legislation that reflects your legislative priorities, and submit it to the Speaker of the House. (Speaker will be chosen in class on 10/17.) The bill does NOT have to be original. Whether or not you use an actual bill that has been previously submitted to the U.S. Congress, if must conform to the following guidelines or contain the following: a. Title b. Short statement of the bill’s purpose c. Detailed explanation of what is being proposed (body of the legislation) d. Cost, and source of funding (if any) e. Appropriate “sunrise” or “sunset” provisions Bills can be as long or short as necessary, but realize that while an omnibus bill such as the “Energy Bill” would be too cumbersome for consideration in this setting, a bill opening up the Arctic Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) would not. Be certain to include as much detail and clarification as possible, adding or deleting information where necessary (if you are submitting a “real” bill). The body should clearly get across your legislative priorities, which other members will probably not grasp! See Bell’s “Writing Legislation” (pp 32-39; 75-84 samples) for help. Attach p. 37 when you submit your bill, as well as p. 43 – cosponsor form – if you can acquire support from colleagues. 2. Justification for the Bill. Submit a 1-2 page general justification for your choice of legislation. This exercise should demonstrate your thorough familiarity with your role, in that your bill should be a bill your member has proposed or would propose; and it should show that you have thought through a plan – from getting it passed, to perceiving its consequences, both limited and large. Begin by stating the title of the bill and elaborate on its purpose. Discuss why you’ve chosen to elevate this bill above all other possibilities. Consider these questions: (1) How does this bill reflect your legislative style? Also, how is this legislation consistent with your legislative record? If it is not, why do you believe the direction you’re taking is rational? (2) Why is the legislation needed? (3) How would this bill affect your district? (4) Who benefits/loses from enactment of your proposal? Consider local and national implications. You also need to address how you will ensure support for your bill in the simulation, and also in an ideal sense – that is, as if you really were dealing with a panoply of actors (what will or would your media strategy be? How will you identify sympathetic colleagues? Would you advertise to constituents? etc.) You don’t have to take every imagined recipient into account, but do consider those you might regard as most important. Refer to Bell’s guidelines (p. 40) if you need further direction. While Bell’s assignment is geared toward convincing a constituent, you should justify yourself to the instructor. 3. Submit a “Dear Colleague” Letter. Draft an ACTUAL letter that will be reproduced and distributed to all members of the simulated House. Restate the title and purpose of the bill,

Authors: Van Vechten, Renee.
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Van Vechten, 24
II. BILL PROPOSAL AND BILL JUSTIFICATION ASSIGNMENT Due 10/17/05
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER
Due 10/17 OR 10/19
This assignment has three parts:
1. Propose and Submit a Bill
. Choose or construct a piece of legislation that reflects your
legislative priorities, and submit it to the Speaker of the House. (Speaker will be chosen in
class on 10/17.)
The bill does NOT have to be original. Whether or not you use an actual bill that has
been previously submitted to the U.S. Congress, if must conform to the following guidelines
or contain the following:
a. Title
b. Short statement of the bill’s purpose
c. Detailed explanation of what is being proposed (body of the legislation)
d. Cost, and source of funding (if any)
e. Appropriate “sunrise” or “sunset” provisions
Bills can be as long or short as necessary, but realize that while an omnibus bill such as the
“Energy Bill” would be too cumbersome for consideration in this setting, a bill opening up the
Arctic Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) would not.
Be certain to include as much detail and clarification as possible, adding or deleting
information where necessary (if you are submitting a “real” bill). The body should clearly get
across your legislative priorities, which other members will probably not grasp!
See Bell’s “Writing Legislation” (pp 32-39; 75-84 samples) for help. Attach p. 37 when you
submit your bill, as well as p. 43 – cosponsor form – if you can acquire support from colleagues.
2. Justification for the Bill.
Submit a 1-2 page general justification for your choice of
legislation. This exercise should demonstrate your thorough familiarity with your role, in
that your bill should be a bill your member has proposed or would propose; and it should
show that you have thought through a plan – from getting it passed, to perceiving its
consequences, both limited and large.
Begin by stating the title of the bill and elaborate on its purpose. Discuss why you’ve chosen
to elevate this bill above all other possibilities. Consider these questions: (1) How does this
bill reflect your legislative style? Also, how is this legislation consistent with your
legislative record? If it is not, why do you believe the direction you’re taking is rational? (2)
Why is the legislation needed? (3) How would this bill affect your district? (4) Who
benefits/loses from enactment of your proposal? Consider local and national implications.
You also need to address how you will ensure support for your bill in the simulation, and also
in an ideal sense – that is, as if you really were dealing with a panoply of actors (what will or
would your media strategy be? How will you identify sympathetic colleagues? Would you
advertise to constituents? etc.) You don’t have to take every imagined recipient into account,
but do consider those you might regard as most important.
Refer to Bell’s guidelines (p. 40) if you need further direction. While Bell’s assignment is
geared toward convincing a constituent, you should justify yourself to the instructor.
3. Submit a “Dear Colleague” Letter.
Draft an ACTUAL letter that will be reproduced and
distributed to all members of the simulated House. Restate the title and purpose of the bill,


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