A well-written policy proposal (A legislative Proposal it is often called a A-19 within the Federal System) provides policy makers with a clear understanding of the issues; specifically,
The specific part of the rule, regulation or law that should be changed and why. What is the issue or problem and why should a policy be developed. What unwanted effect is currently occurring in our society and why is it occurring. An explanation of the problem, in clear and concise language, including specific negative outcomes affecting the legislators or bureaucrats interest (AKA constituents). Sufficient facts (data) demonstrating these effect is essential for any policy to even be considered.
What changes are required in rule, regulation or law and what legislation or regulator change needs to be accomplish.
Explains and provides initial guidance to policy makers regarding what provisions are sought in a draft bill.
The issues to be debates and discussions regarding this policy change as well as alternative policy scenarios
The consensus statement of policy for those that support the proposal
A policy proposal should answer the following questions:
What is the problem that will be addressed by the legislation or regulatory change?
What is the solution?
Why is this problem of concern/ a major issue? (studies, reports, media reports, personal experience, or anecdotal evidence relating to the proposal.
What should be included language for a proposed bill, rule, regulation if possible, (This is not required but can provide details regarding what the recommendation entails)
What are examples of similar legislation or regulatory change and their outcome (Include the author, bill number, and outcome of the legislation or regulatory number if possible):
What impact will this proposal, if passed/ implemented will have on resources (Financial and other)Potential support for policy change and why
What are the arguments of the potential opposition to this proposal? Why and how should they be counter argued?
Policy Proposal Format
This is a suggested format for a Policy Proposal from the Office of Management and Budget (2004).
Brief statement of what the proposal would accomplish.
Current Law (or Problem): Describe simply, provisions of law or regulation that the proposal would amend and that make the proposal necessary; or explain that no law or regulation that exists and the problem this causes.
Proposal: State proposal in desrptive detail. Assure you clearly state where this change in law or regulations should be occurring. Is this a change to a federal, state or a more local policy?
Rationale: Provide a strong justification for the proposal; include the following, as applicable:
Describe the problems the proposal would solve and how it would solve them.
Cite any supporting research or reports.
Impact: Explain who would be affected by the proposal and the extent of this effect.
Describe what impact the proposal will oppose upon the federal, state, local governments, or private sector.
Anticipated Opposition: Predicted what potential opposition to proposal may include and provide clear data to address these concerns
Cost: Label this section Cost, Revenue, or Authorization Level, as appropriate.
Provide estimated costs, savings, revenues for both the present and the future (five years
If no costs, savings, or revenues, explain how or why
Explain and justify how you calculated estimates.
Indicate whether and by how much the proposal would increase/reduce costs on other groups or entities.
Personnel Requirements: reflect how this would impact human resources ( number of persons required to administrate change, effort to administer change)
Effective Date: Time line to have change in place.
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