Where Do Ideas for New Laws Come From?

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According to the Utah State Legislature, ideas for new laws come from citizens, "government agencies, special interest groups, lobbyists, the Governor" and from members of the legislature. According to the U.S. Treasury, ideas for legislation also come from the president. These entities propose ideas for new legislation, amendments to the Constitution and the removal of existing legislation.

Entities with ideas that are not a part of the legislature contact members to set up meetings, email legislatures or call their representatives. People within the community receive ideas through media outlets or problems they see. Government agencies and special interest groups seek laws that address their specific issues. According to the U.S. House of Representatives, if the legislator responds favorably to the idea, staff investigate the issue further to determine the proper draft of the legislation.

The process for how a bill becomes a law differs from state to state and from state legislatures to the U.S. Congress, but some components remain the same. After the idea inspires the drafting of the legislation, a legislator introduces the bill. It then goes to the appropriate committee for a vote. Once a bill receives a majority of votes in the committee, it goes to the full legislative chamber for a floor vote. In bicameral legislatures, the bill must pass both houses before going to the governor or president for a final signing.