making law journals

Individual student journals should include short, informative and reflective entries on each of the following TEN items. Each entry should be approximately one full paragraph in length.


1 The bill: select a bill introduced in the 2022-23 session; describe its content and goals. Explain HOW and why you selected it.


2 The legislator: Who introduced this bill and why? Where are they from? Who lives in their district? What other legislation have they proposed?


3 Co-authors: does the bill have co-sponsors or other acknowledged supporters in the legislature (including the other house – Senate or Assembly? Who are they and what constituencies and interests do they share with the sponsor?


4 The opposition: who opposes this bill? Why?


5 The committees: Which committees have been assigned to review this bill? Focus on one of these committees. What other legislation is this committee reviewing? What are some of the similarities and differences among the bills and issues this committee reviews


6 The media: Has the media (in any form) reported on your bill? What are the key elements of this coverage? What points and perspectives does this reporting raise?


7 Public reaction: Evaluate the public reactions, if any, received by this bill? What organizations or citizens groups have taken positions on this bill? What issues do they emphasize? Why?


8 Reach out to your legislator’s office: Formulate a specific question or concern that you have about this bill and send an email to the legislator asking it. Why do you have this question? What is their response? [NOTE: I expect everyone to contact their legislator and provide a detailed description of the process, your efforts, and what you learned].


9 The hearing: Attend/watch at least one committee hearing where your bill is discussed. Take notes. What are the most striking features of this hearing? How does your bill fare and why?


10 Reflection: (Entry of 500 words minimum) What happened to your bill this legislative session (so far)? Reflect on the overall process of making law in California and its connections to the main themes of our course. What are the most striking elements of this process? Why? What is the most important thing you learned? What does the process of making law in California today reflect/illustrate about the history of this place?

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