Legislation begins with the submission of a bill to the legislature for consideration. A bill is a draft, or tentative version, of what might become part of the written law. A bill that is enacted is called an act or statute. The selection of appropriate and clear language for the proposed piece of legislation is critical. Legislators need to understand what is intended by the bill and who will be affected by it.
A bill is amended to accommodate interested and affected groups and to eliminate technical defects. More legislative attention is generally devoted to decisions on amendments than to disputes over whether a bill will be passed. An able legislator or supporter of a piece of legislation constantly seeks ways to silence opposition or convert opponents into supporters. Many important provisions that finally become law are adjusted by amendments in order to accommodate conflicting viewpoints.
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