Political Science – INSTRUCTIONS FOR FINAL PAPER
Congratulations, you’ve been hired as a policy advisor to Governor Jerry Brown! Your first task is to write a 3-4 page memo recommending whether he should sign or veto one of the bills recently passed by the legislature and listed below. You need to tell your boss what’s really at stake in this piece of legislation and what effects it might have on the state of California. The governor trusts you to present relevant evidence from reputable sources to support your recommendation.
Step 1. Use bill below:
Senate Bill 270 – Would prohibit single-use plastic bags and allow grocers to offer paper or reusable bags for a fee
(Note: In reality, the governor has already signed or vetoed these bills, but you can ignore his actual decision while writing your memo)
Step 2. Research your bill using the following resources.
ü Relevant academic sources (articles, books) or think tank reports
ü California newspapers
ü General Google search using bill number (for example, “SB 25”) and “CA” or “California” to find the following:
o Press releases from elected officials
o Statements from organizations in favor of or opposed to the bill
o Other background information from reputable sources (NO BLOGS!)
Step 3. Write a 3-4 page policy memo.
The governor is a busy man with lots of people clamoring for his time and attention. For your memo to be effective, it needs to be well organized and easy to read. Remember, policy memos are intended to be persuasive documents, but they are NOT personal opinion pieces. You must provide evidence to support your claims and conclusions.
· 3-4 pages (not including the cover sheet or references)
· Double spaced
· 12 point Times New Roman font
· 1” margins all around
· Page numbers
· Title page
· Cite all sources using APA citation style
This is a general outline of the sections your memo should contain. It is intended to be an example. Please substitute your own section headings and make sure they are specific.
Subject: [Include bill reference number] ü What is the issue? Include a brief description of the bill in your own words (you may attach the full text to the back of your memo as an appendix) ü What key information is contained in this memorandum? ü What course of action is recommended—should the bill be signed or vetoed?
ü Who sponsored the bill? Why?
ü What is the nature of the problem/issue the bill addresses? What is the context of the problem, including key facts and figures?
ü What is the history of the bill? Note carefully any major changes that have been made to the bill
ü How many votes did it receive to pass?
ü What are the arguments for and against the bill? Which arguments do you find most convincing? Why?
ü Who would be helped and who would be hurt if this bill were signed into law?
ü Will changes in existing agencies or other institutions be required?
ü If the bill involves funding, where will the required money come from?
ü Should the governor sign or veto this bill?
ü What are the potential consequences (positive or negative) of your recommended action?