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Providing an inside view of policy initiation and policy making, this book, written by a former Congressional staff member, offers readers a first-hand account of policy formation from preliminary research to coalition-building, writing the bill, and working with committees to move the bill to the floor. A straightforward, engaging presentation follows the Safe Havens Support Act from the initial idea that inspired the bill, through its crafting and eventual passage as part of larger social services bills—and examines the ground-level challenges of a new member of congress developing a legislative agenda. For individuals who want to see how Republicans and Democrats can work together, and how a policy idea becomes a legislative reality.
1. Introduction: So You Want to Pass a Bill?
2. Re-Inventing the Wheel: Conducting Background Research.
3. Education and Alliances: Working with Organized Interests and Caucuses.
4. Power to the People: Learning from the Grassroots.
5. The Search for Solutions: Transforming Ideas into Policy.
6. Winning Friends to Influence People: Co-Sponsors and Coalitions.
7. Lights, Camera, Action! Developing Media Strategy.
8. Finding a Way to the Floor: A Bill Becomes Two Laws.
9.Conclusion: From Inspiration to Legislation.