Legislation Guide

Introduction (Welcome to the wonderful world of legislation):

NOTE: This is an overall guide to writing legislation. For a Senate Bill/Resolution template, head to the Template Page.

Before you can start writing, first you have to know the different types of legislation and their specific uses.

- A RESOLUTION is used to state the opinion of the Senate. If you want the Senate to take a position on a student-related issue, you should draft a resolution. A resolution can also recognize the work or accomplishments of a person, group, or organization. To get a resolution passed, you will need a majority vote from the Senate.

- A BILL is used to enact or revise the ASUCD bylaws (ASUCD Government Codes, Standing Rules, Judicial Codes, or any other governing document with the exception of the Constitution), create special committees, update or create Administrative Plans for ASUCD units, or allocate funds from either Senate Reserves or Capital Reserves (see “Bills” page for the distinction). When you want to change the way ASUCD is currently operating, you should draft a bill. When you want money for something, you should draft a bill. And if you want to make a super cool special committee to research something or perform a specific action, you should draft a bill. To get a bill passed, you will need a majority vote of the Senate, unless it allocates money, in which case you need a 2/3 vote of the Senate.

- A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT is exactly what it sounds like; it changes the Constitution. Amending the Constitution is a big deal because it serves as the all-powerful uberdocument that may not be suspended by the Senate. Constitutional Amendments usually entail an institutional change in ASUCD because the document outlines its fundamental operation and procedures. To get an Amendment passed, you’ll need a majority vote from Senate and a 60% of votes in an ASUCD election.

- A BALLOT MEASURE is also placed on an ASUCD ballot and is usually a fee referendum but can be legislation that needs to be seen by the entire student body. There will not be a sample ballot measure in this guide because they are so rare and so closely resemble Constitutional Amendments.

Sample Resolution

ASUCD Senate Resolution # ______

Authored by: SAVAREE-RUESS

Co-authored by: Nicklaus, Palmer, Player

Introduced by: Senator

An ASUCD resolution in support of the “Kai is Awesome” movement.

WHEREAS, Kai Savaree-Ruess has always been a heck of a guy; and,

WHEREAS, Kai is currently a student at UC Davis and therefore should receive our support; and,

WHEREAS, the movement is gaining in strength both on and off campus.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT, ASUCD supports the “Kai is Awesome” movement, and all other similar movements; and,

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, ASUCD encourages members of the Davis City counsel to recognize the “Kai is Awesome” movement; and,

THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED THAT, copies of this resolution shall be sent to the Mayor, the Governor, the President, and Yo’ Mamma.

Checklist:

Heading: The primary author’s last name appears in all CAPS. Co-authors and the introducing senator do not appear in CAPS. List the co-authors in alphabetical order for all pieces of legislation. Note: Per ASUCD Court legislation, a person can only be listed as a co-author if that person contributed in some substantive way to the piece of legislation.
Synopsis: a one-sentence description of the type of legislation and what it intends to do.
WHEREAS clauses: consist of “WHEREAS”, followed by a comma and a supporting point for the resolution. In each clause, a fact or argument for the resolution should be communicated concisely. At the end of a clause, place a “;and,”, except on the final WHEREAS clause, which simply gets a “.”. The WHEREAS clause section should read like a long run-on sentence with an opening at the beginning and a period at the end.

Resolving Clauses: communicate the opinion of the resolution. The WHEREAS clauses serve to inform the opinion and the Resolving clauses communicate it and mandate any action needed to be taken. The first Resolving clause should begin with “THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT,”, the subsequent clauses should begin with “THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT,” and the final clause should begin with “THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED THAT,”. Like the WHEREAS clause section, theResolving clauses should read like a long run-on sentence with an opening at the beginning and a period at the end.

Further Responsibility: If you author a resolution that resolves to send copies to, or somehow otherwise intends to inform people, offices, or entities of the opinion of the resolution, you are responsible for carrying out the dissemination of the resolution.

Sample Bill (Money Allocation)

ASUCD Senate Bill#_____

Authored by: SAVAREE-RUESS

Co-authored by: Barkley, Bird, Johnson, Jordan

Introduced by: Mutombo

An ASUCD Senate Bill to allocate $1,000 for Kai’s bank account.

BACKGROUND: Kai is broke. He needs money badly and ASUCD has a couple million. I think we can spend a little to help him out.

Section 1. The ASUCD Senate hereby allocates $1,000 from Senate Reserves for Kai’s bank account.

Spending Breakdown:

Kai’s school supplies – $250

Kai’s food budget – $500

Kai’s recreational money – $250

Total: $1,000

Checklist

Heading: The primary author’s last name appears in all CAPS on the heading. Co-authors and the introducing senator do not appear in CAPS.

Synopsis: A one-sentence description of the type of legislation and what it intends to do.

Background: (the word BACKGROUND, in all CAPS, followed by a colon must appear first). The background section is used for discussing the reason for the bill and the merits of the allocation. Although it should be thorough, try to keep it as concise as possible.

Action Clause: The action clause is the line that actually initiates the Senate action. It starts with “Section 1.”, or “Section 2.” if it is the second action taken within a single bill. After that, the line normally starts off by saying “The ASUCD Senate hereby…”

Charts or Purpose/Cost Breakdown: Although not all bills for money will include a cost breakdown like the one above, they should if the allocation will be spent on different things. The Senate normally likes to see exactly where the money is going and a chart like this is a great way to show them.

*Note on the distinction between Capital Reserves and Senate Reserves: Capital reserves are for buying things that will benefit the association for over two years. Senate Reserves are for one-time, specific uses, like an event that needs funding.

Senate Bill (Not money allocation)

ASUCD Senate Bill #_____

Authored by: SAVAREE-RUESS

Co-authored by: Austin, Helmsley, Hogan

Introduced by: MacMahon

An ASUCD Senate Bill to change the name of a presidential ticket from “ticket” to “garbledigoop.”

BACKGROUND: ASUCD Elections could use a little humor. The candidates for president and vice president are currently collectively referred to as “ticket” in the Elections Codes. It would be cool if they were called “garbledigoop.”

Section 1. The ASUCD Senate hereby amends Government Code Chapter One, Section 101, subsection 1 as follows:

(1) The Presidential Ticket (hereafter referred to as “ticket” “Garbledigoop”) consists of two (2) people running for office together, one for ASUCD President, and the other for ASUCD Vice President.

Section 2. All references to “ticket” in Government Code Chapter One shall be changed to “Garbledigoop.”

Checklist

Heading: The primary author’s last name appears in all CAPS on the heading. Co-authors and the introducing senator do not appear in CAPS.

Synopsis: A one-sentence description of the type of legislation and what it intends to do.

Background: (the word BACKGROUND, in all CAPS, followed by a colon must appear first). The background section is used for discussing the reason for and the merits of the bill. Although it should be thorough, try to keep it as concise as possible.

Action Clause: The action clause is the line that actually initiates the Senate action. It starts with “Section 1.”, or “Section 2.” if it is the second action taken within a single bill. After that, the line normally starts off by saying “The ASUCD Senate hereby…”

 

When changing text within the ASUCD bylaws, you must copy the text of the section you are changing below the action clause that creates the change. When you wish to strike text, you put a strikethrough on the text. When you wish to add text, you underline it.

If you want a simple change to be reflected throughout a particular section or throughout the entirety of one of the ASUCD bylaws (such as a word substitution as seen in the bill above) a second section may be added that simply states that desire. SGAO will make the appropriate changes. Second sections can also take other independent or related action.

Sample Constitutional Amendment

ASUCD Constitutional Amendment #_____

Authored by: SAVAREE-RUESS

Co-authored by: Batman

Introduced By: Superman

A Constitutional Amendment to make Kai Savaree-Ruess the Dictator of ASUCD.

Section 1. The ASUCD Senate hereby places the attached Constitutional Amendment on the Winter 2006 ballot.

Kai For Dictator Amendment

Please vote for one of the following options:

________Yes, I approve of the Kai For Dictator Amendment.

________No, I do not approve of the Kai For Dictator Amendment.

An act to amend the ASUCD Constitution by placing the following Constitutional Amendment before a vote of the ASUCD membership on the Winter 2006 ballot.

BACKGROUND: Kai is the best and he should be running things.

Section 1. The ASUCD membership hereby amend Article I, Section 1 of the ASUCD Constitution by deleting text with a line through it and adding all underlined text as follows:

Section 1. The official unofficial name of this organization shall be the Associated Students, University of California, Davis hereafter referred to as the ASUCD. The official name shall be Kai’s House, and Kai Savaree-Ruess shall serve of dictator.

Constitutional Amendments look a lot like bylaw-amending bills because they too amend or create new text. However, when it is presented to the Senate, a Constitutional Amendment appears as if it is two bills: one to place it on the ballot and the other that will actually appear on the ballot.

Check out the last page to see formatting for bills since they are similar to Constitutional Amendments. Use the above example as a template and you’ll be fine.

When You Are Finished Writing

Once you are done writing your legislation, you need to find a senator to “introduce” it (put their name on the “Introduced by:” line in the heading) and submit it to the Vice President (or the designated representative) by putting 5 hard copies and a disk containing the legislation in his/her box in the Student Services Office. Although the deadline for submitting legislation frequently changes via new legislation and policy set by the Vice President, currently you must have legislation submitted by 8a.m. the day before the senate meeting at which you want it to be introduced.

Once it is submitted, the legislation clerk will review it and contact you with any problems. After it is introduced at the senate meeting, it will be referred to the appropriate commissions. As the author, you need to attend the commission meetings where it is to be seen, or designate a co-author to attend in your place. If and when the legislation passes through commissions, the senate will see it at that week’s meeting. You also need to attend this meeting.

After the Senate passes your legislation, it must be signed by the ASUCD President. Once that signature is given, the legislation is enacted and you celebrate. If your legislation is a resolution and needs to be sent out through the mail, or somehow else, you as the author must take responsibility for this. SGAO will have copies of the legislation as needed.

Now you are done writing legislation! You are so freakin’ cool. Give yourself a high-five!