"Healthcare: How A Bill Becomes a Law" is an outstanding example of a paper on the health system. Only recently, during my evening shift at the hospital, two severely injured children were rushed in for emergency treatment following a road accident involving their school bus and another vehicle which is said to have made an illegal turn, prompting the driver of the school bus to brake suddenly to avoid a collision. These children suffered severe blood loss with injuries including fractured bones and deep cuts on the heads since the school bus had not fit any seat belts to protect their passengers and these little ones. Upon further research on these occurrences and trends both in my state and nationally, I discovered with shock that these happenings exist rampantly across the nation, are a daily phenomenon, and the type that needs to be dealt with seriously and speedily as children’ s lives and future were dearly at stake.
Surprisingly still, during my research, I found out that a bill had been proposed in my state the previous year by like-minded and concerned individuals who wanted seatbelts installed on all school buses.
This bill had failed to get past the transport committee. This second revelation, as a healthcare provider and a concerned citizen, left me baffled as to how such an important bill would fail to go through and become a law. However, I had made a strong resolve to see this bill passed this time and ensure children’ s safety in traffic. As a result of the study of the failed bill, I saw it prudent to change the recommendations of the bill to require seatbelts for the front row seats only, to enhance the chances of the bill going through.
Any further changes would be made once the bill had come into law. I discussed this project with my colleagues and friends and they agreed that it was worth pursuing. I learned that the idea for a bill can start with a legislator (elected government official), a state agency, business, lobbyist, state nursing association, or any citizen [like me]. I discovered that Mr. Thomas Jones, a parent of three young children in my school district who also rides in school buses and an active participant in community affairs, was my representative to the state legislature.
I approached him with my proposal during a parent-teacher association [PTA] meeting and caught his attention. However, in order consider supporting the idea, he needed to know more about the issue and how many people feel the same way. He required that I obtain at least 1,500 names on a petition from the district and fill out his legislative worksheet for new ideas. I mobilized friends to canvas the area, especially where the incident occurred.
Within a few days, we had amassed over 2,000 signatures from registered voters who supported the initiative. After this, I met Mr. Jones in his office in State Capitol where I presented him with the signatures and the completed legislative worksheets. He discussed the proposal with his colleagues in the house and got three representatives to agree to support the bill. They introduced the bill to the committee which discussed its merits, voted on it, and consequently approved it to go to the full house.
The full house too discussed it and its merits, and later voted on it with more than half of the house approving it. It was then consequently sent to the Senate which also discussed its merits, debated on it accordingly then voted overwhelmingly with more than half voting in favor of the bill. The bill was then forwarded to the governor who effectively signed it into law, as per the laws of the land (Hamilton, 829). Seatbelts are now mandatory for the front row seats for school buses in the state of Indiana.
ReferencesHamilton, John. How A Bill Becomes A Law. Edina, Minn.: ABDO Pub. Co., 2005. Print.