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  • Did Georgia Pass a Bill Allowing Prayer in Schools?

    Georgia Sen. David Scott, author of the Quiet Reflection Act, explains why he introduced such legislation aimed at Georgia public schools. The legislative process of a bill becoming a law is discussed as well as comments from Sen. Mike Egan, who explains the art of compromise in the legislature and how it is necessary for getting things done.

    Support Materials

    Discuss

    1. Research how a bill becomes a law. Make a diagram/drawing/flowchart that shows the steps that a bill must take in order for it to become a law in the state of Georgia.

    2. How does compromise work in getting a bill through the legislature?

    3. Explain why our system of creating laws makes compromise necessary in order to get a bill passed.

    Expansion

    1. Think of something you would like to make into a law. Write out the bill with all the details. Submit it (by email) to your state or U.S. lawmaker - Senator or Representative.
    The more details you have and the better your reasons for this law, the better the chance of actually getting it passed. (You do not have to be a voter to submit an idea for a bill.)

    2. On the second Monday of January every year, the Georgia Legislature begins its 40 day term. All the bills that are submitted for that year are put online. Select one of those bills and follow its route through the legislature. Write your senator or representative (from your county) about this bill, and tell them why you would like to see it passed and made into law.

    3. Find out who represents you in the Georgia Legislature and the U.S. Congress:

    • GA Senator in U.S. Senate (there are two)
    • GA Representative in U.S. House of Representatives
    • Georgia Senator from your district
    • Georgia Representative from your district

    Vocabulary

    legislature: A body of citizens elected to make laws for a state or nation
    general assembly: The name of the collective legislative body of the state of Georgia
    senator: A citizen who is elected by the people to serve in the senate of a state or nation
    representative: A citizen who is elected by the people to serve in the House of Representatives of a state or nation
    compromise: Settling of differences by making mutual concessions; the process of give and take in order to make things happen

    For Teachers

    Discussion Guide

    1. Research how a bill becomes a law. Make a diagram/drawing/flowchart that shows the steps that a bill must take in order for it to become a law in the state of Georgia.
    Use a search engine to find “how a bill becomes a law” to find different examples. (Students may use their own ingenuity to show this process. They could do it individually or as a group. It could also be done on the computer.) 

    2. How does compromise work in getting a bill through the legislature?
    If you want something passed, you must get help from other legislators. You have to give a little and get a little. You do not always get everything you want in a bill. Legislators help each other in order to get each of their bills passed.

    3. Explain why our system of creating laws makes compromise necessary in order to get a bill passed.
    Legislators must work together so that laws will get enough votes to pass. Every part of a state or country wants/needs different laws to benefit their way of life. In order to get enough votes to get a particular bill passed, a legislator must ask other lawmakers to help him/her: vote for their bill. In return, the legislator who asked for help returns the favor when the other needs votes for their bill. Our system of government has a requirement that the majority rules. A bill cannot pass just because a few people want it. In order for most bills to pass, there has to be a working relationship between lawmakers. That way everyone has a chance to get their bill passed for what they think their community needs.

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