How to Write a Bill

The first step in writing any good bill is to find a topic about which you're passionate, and research it. Resources are available to assist you with this endeavor. Once you've found an interesting and relevant topic on which to write your bill and have done the necessary research, the next step is actually getting your bill ready for discussion in committee. A PMC bill should have three parts...

Preamble

This section should provide your rationale for enacting the bill. Why is your topic something that should be addressed by the government? This section's clauses should always begin with a "Whereas..."

Body

This section should be separated into sections and subsections. Each proposed idea for the implementation of the bill should be a section. Subsections should be used to provide further detail and clarification (definitions, etc.) for their appropriate bill sections.

Enactment Clause

This is the final section of the bill (and can be labeled as a section as normal). EACH BILL MUST HAVE AN ENACTMENT CLAUSE! The enactment clause tells your fellow congressmen when your bill will take effect if passed. It may specify a future date (i.e., January 30, 2016) or a certain number of days following the passage of the bill (i.e., 60 days after passage). Enactment dates within 30 days of passage are used for EMERGENCY legislation only. Enactment dates more than 90 days after passage are used for most legislation and is the enactment period for normal bills. It is worth noting that, per Robert's Rules of Order, bills with an enactment clause of 91 days after passage or more require a simple majority to pass, whereas emergency legislation requires a 2/3 majority. So unless you have a compelling reason for a shorter timetable, it's generally in your best interest to make the enactment date 91 days after passage.

Sample Bills and Template

Having consistent standards for bill submissions is of the utmost importance to PMC. If you are not already familiar with the process, please take a moment to look over the two sample bills below, and download the bill template as a starting point for your own bill.