Use of the National Assembly Area
#1
Hello, all. Here is the run-down for the usage of the National Assembly area of these forums:
  • Non-Citizens (including those who are not logged in) have no ability to see the area.
  • Those who are not members of the National Assembly must use the Foyer if they wish to comment or discuss legislative matters; otherwise they have only the ability to view.
  • The Chief Secretary is currently the one exception to the above bullet point, unless he abuses that privilege, and until committees are made and require testimony from non-legislators.
  • Members of the National Assembly may use their respective chambers however they wish, provided that they use their Hopper for actual legislation. Legislation should not be posted anywhere else on these forums.
  • Legislative business is meant to be open and transparent, hence others' ability to view the machinations of the Assembly. If a House wishes and insists to conduct something in private, however, they need only ask me to make a new area for them.
  • The shared area may be used however the two Houses together decide to use it, provided that no Delegate or Senator bother or interfere with a joint committee of which he is not a member himself.
  • These rules are subject to change at any time without notice.

Thanks for your cooperation ;-)



HOW LEGISLATION WORKS

Note: The rules below are not official, nor are they written in a formal or technical manner. They are merely an informal guide. A supermajority of the information is self-evident from the Constitution, and the rest is compiled from relevant statutes. Unless a Law or a Rule is passed and supersedes the rules below, we can get away with using them reliably.

1. Bills and Joint Resolutions

1(a). Bills ("B") and joint Resolutions ("J") are introduced by creating a thread in the appropriate Hopper ("Thread A"). The title of Thread A is the (short) title of the measure, preceded by a reference code (one from the list below), and the forum prefix [S] is also selected for "submitted".
  • Senate: [SB123] / [SJ123]
  • Delegates: [DB123] / [DJ123]

1(b). The measure may be referred to a committee. If that's the case, a new thread ("Thread B") is created in the appropriate committee subforum of the same House, and the [S] of Thread A becomes {C} for "Committee". The committee's final report is ultimately submitted in Thread A.

1(c). Amendments and any other actions made by the whole House on the measure are recorded in Thread A.

1(d). If the House or origin passes the measure, it becomes engrossed, and the [S] or {C} of Thread A turns into a [EG].

1(e). To continue, a member of the other House must introduce the engrossed version of the measure in his respective Hopper by creating a new thread therein ("Thread C"). Steps 1(b) and 1(c) repeat likewise in the other House, but the title of Thread C stays the same as Thread A. (A Delegates' Bill [DB056] stays a Delegates' Bill even if in the Senate, for example.)

1(f)(i). If the second House passes the measure in identical form, then the measure becomes enrolled. The [S] or {C} of Thread C, and the [EG] of Thread A, both turn into an [ER]. A new thread is created above the Hoppers ("Thread D") with the same reference code and (short) title: this is the actual enrolled version, which in turn is signed by the Speaker and the Marshal and is marked [W] for "waiting on presidential approval or disapproval".
1(f)(ii). If the second House passes the measure in a different form, then the [S] or {C} of Thread C turns into [PA] for "Passed with Amendments". A conference committee may convene to work out the differences, if the Houses so desire; its report would be submitted to Threads A and C alike. If the Houses cannot pass an identical form of the measure, then nothing more happens and the measure dies procedurally. Otherwise, if passed identically, then the measure is enrolled: the [PA] of Thread C, and the [EG] of Thread A, both turn into [ER], Thread D is created as above, the Speaker and the Marshal sign it, and it's marked [W].

1(g)(i).  If the President approves the measure, he will sign it in Thread D and the [W] becomes [A] for "Approved". The Chief Secretary is notified that it is ready for promulgation.
1(g)(ii). If the President disapproves the measure, he will write "VETOED" (or the equivalent of it) and his Objections in Thread D, and the [W] becomes a [V] for "Vetoed". His Objections will be entered in Thread A. No amendments are allowed now, because any change would constitute a brand new measure. If the House of origin re-passes the measure by two-thirds, then Thread A earns a second prefix - [O] for "Overridden", now having [O][ER] - and the Objections are entered in Thread C. If the second House passes it by two-thirds, then Thread C also gets [O][ER] and the [V] on Thread D becomes an [O]. The Chief Secretary is notified that the measure is ready for promulgation.
1(g)(iii). If the President does not approve or disapprove the measure within fourteen days, then on the fifteenth day the Chief Secretary will promulgate it.

1(h). When the Chief Secretary promulgates a measure, he will sign it in Thread D. The [A], [O] or [W] of Thread D, whatever the case may be, gets a second prefix, [PR] for "Promulgated" (for example, [PR][W]). If the Houses fail to override the veto, then Thread D stays with [V] forever and is never promulgated.

1(i). Until the Department of Registry has an online database for publishing (or someone sues to force literal verbatim compliance with the ACTS Act), Thread D suffices as a slip law and, therefore, no further action needs to be taken.

2. Concurrent Resolutions

2(a). Step 1(a) applies likewise to concurrent Resolutions ("C"), except that the applicable reference code will be either [SC123] or [DB123].

2(b). Steps 1(b), 1(c), 1(d), and 1(e) apply likewise to concurrent Resolutions. Step 1(f) applies also likewise, except that, because concurrent Resolutions aren't ever presented, the measure is immediately enrolled upon identical passage by both Houses and Thread D is marked [ER] outright (instead of [W] or any other prefix). Of course, signatures of the Speaker and the Marshal are still necessary in Thread D, etc.

2(c). The Chief Secretary is unlikely ever to promulgate a concurrent Resolution except when, as stipulated in the Constitution, he is promulgating a proposal of an Amendment to the Constitution. In that case, and whenever else the Law may require him to promulgate a concurrent Resolution, he will do so again by signing it in Thread D and the [PR] prefix will be added, so that Thread D has together [PR][ER].

2(d). The concurrent Resolution is entered on both Journals for sake of record-keeping. Thread D will also suffice as an additional record and, therefore, no further action needs to be taken. The Houses may send a copy of a concurrent Resolution to the Department of Registry, in order to place it in the Legislation At Large, but that is optional.

3. Simple Resolutions

3(a). Step 1(a) applies likewise to simple Resolutions ("R"), except that the applicable reference code will be either [SR123] or [DR123].

3(b). Steps 1(b), 1(c) and 2(d) apply likewise to simple Resolutions.

3(c). If the House of origin passes the measure, it becomes enrolled, and the [S] or {C} of Thread A turns into an [ER]. The presiding officer of the House signs the measure in Thread A.

4. Other (Unwritten) Measures

4(a). The dispensing of other measures, written or unwritten, is not a self-evident matter like Bills or Resolutions, and has not been codified yet. The process will likely follow the above methods, depending on the context: for example, the ratification of a Treaty, needing the consent of only one House, will likely follow the procedures stipulated for simple Resolutions. Until such matters are codified, the exact method is uncertain; caution is advised.


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