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The Path to Maine Lawmaking - Maine Department of the Secretary of State

Teaching Guide and Activities

Person to Person: Legislating Maine

LESSON 3: CONNECTION TO LAWMAKING

Learning Outcomes

At the end of Lesson 3 students will be able to

  • describe and analyze the process by which a proposed law is adopted, including the role of governmental and non-governmental influences.

Class Activity

  • Legislator visits the class. Students might benefit from having the legislator view the video with them again as a way to begin discussion. The legislator should be prepared to discuss the public policy issues that the class identified in Lessons 1 and 2 .

  • If a legislator cannot visit the class or as an additional activity, students can use their research in Lessons 1 and 2 to create their own “bill.” In class discussion they can identify a problem that their bill will address and then anticipate different points of view on the issue. A team of writers will draft the bill for the class to use.

In Lesson 4 , students (or teachers) can designate who in the class will be the “sponsors” of the bill, “lobbyists” for and against the bill, members of the public to weigh in on the bill, and representatives from a state agency with jurisdiction over the bill if it is passed into law.

In Lesson 5 , the class can be organized into opposing points of view and have the “bill” go through the legislature, using “sides” of the class to represent the House and Senate who must debate the bill and vote on it.

It is not necessary to follow parliamentary procedure; however, information on parliamentary procedure is available here.

Materials

  • Computers with Internet access and word processing capabilities

  • Folder/Notebook for “Path to Maine Lawmaking”

Student Activities

  • Using the State of Maine website, find “How a Bill Becomes a Law,” download and print this page for your notebook, and record in your notebook at least 5 major steps in the process of lawmaking in Maine .

  • Using Maine's legislative website , find a sample of a legislative document (L.D.), download and print this page for your notebook, and record in your notebook at least 5 items of information that must be included in every L.D.

  • Using whatever resource you like – website, dictionary, textbook -- find a definition for “lobbyist” and record it in your notebook; indicate what resource you used.

Assessment

  • Have students successfully located “How a Bill Becomes a Law” on the State of Maine 's website? Have they recorded in their notebooks at least 5 steps in the legislative process?

  • Have students successfully located a sample of a legislative document (L.D.) and recorded in their notebooks 5 standard items of information in an L.D.?

  • Can students accurately define “lobbyist”?