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‘I’m just a bill’

It’s crunch time in Tally. The legislative session ends at 11:59 p.m. on March 11, and because politics, there’s a lot of legislation still being handled.

If you’ve long forgotten lessons from Schoolhouse Rock!, we’ve outlined the process – and shown you where some relevant legislation is lingering.

This is how it goes down when a bill originates in the House, but it works similarly in the Senate. (If you’re a stickler for details, the Senate process is sketched out here (PDF).) You can still weigh in on legislation – use these last days!

How an idea becomes a law in Florida infographic
Hector Chacon/The New Tropic
  • Michael Gibaldi

    Hi, I’m late in looking over this bill process infographic but want to ask about step 1. It says original ideas for bills are started by a person(presumably Floride resident registered to vote) a citizens group. Or a legislator.
    what about all the bills suggested by big business and special interests?? For example, what person or citizen group would want a bill that would preempt individual Counties or Cities from trying to regulate toxic polystyrene containers? Or a bill that would advance fracking?
    So of the 3 groups in diagram that initiate a bill idea, safe to assume that #3 – a legislator’s idea – started with lobbying and dark money interests?
    As on ocean and marine activist, I’m learning a lot about the inner workings so I can be better at affecting positive, progressive policy.

    • Kathryn M.

      Exactly. In broad terms, ideas for bills can come from anywhere but technically, they are introduced (started in the process of becoming a bill) by a legislator. The same can be said about local laws.

    • Don’t forget that business interests can create their own ‘Consumer advocacy” groups. This is what happened with the Florida Solar Amendment petition that is getting pushed out by the competing amendment petition sponsored by FPL and Duke energy.

    • ariel

      Hey Michael,

      Thanks for reading this through, and hope you found it helpful! Those couple things we mentioned were just examples. That wasn’t meant to be an all-encompassing list of all the people a bill could originate with. Just the ones most likely to fit the profile of our readers.

      Ariel

  • Michael Gibaldi

    Hi, I’m late in looking over this bill process infographic but want to ask about step 1. It says original ideas for bills are started by a person(presumably Floride resident registered to vote) a citizens group. Or a legislator.
    what about all the bills suggested by big business and special interests?? For example, what person or citizen group would want a bill that would preempt individual Counties or Cities from trying to regulate toxic polystyrene containers? Or a bill that would advance fracking?
    So of the 3 groups in diagram that initiate a bill idea, safe to assume that #3 – a legislator’s idea – started with lobbying and dark money interests?
    As on ocean and marine activist, I’m learning a lot about the inner workings so I can be better at affecting positive, progressive policy.

    • Kathryn M.

      Exactly. In broad terms, ideas for bills can come from anywhere but technically, they are introduced (started in the process of becoming a bill) by a legislator. The same can be said about local laws.

    • Don’t forget that business interests can create their own ‘Consumer advocacy” groups. This is what happened with the Florida Solar Amendment petition that is getting pushed out by the competing amendment petition sponsored by FPL and Duke energy.

    • ariel

      Hey Michael,

      Thanks for reading this through, and hope you found it helpful! Those couple things we mentioned were just examples. That wasn’t meant to be an all-encompassing list of all the people a bill could originate with. Just the ones most likely to fit the profile of our readers.

      Ariel