In 1500-2000 words, respond:
Option #1--A specific state or local policy
Focus on a policy in just one state or locality, say Arizona's immigration law, or Utah's health care exchange, or Hawaii's bottle bill, or Montgomery County's bag tax, or New York City's soda tax, or Hazleton, Pennsylvania's immigration law. This sort of paper should mention other states' or localities' similarities and/or differences in dealing with the related policy area in a paragraph or two for comparison's sake, but the real focus is on one piece of legislation in one state or locality.
Present the history behind this policy, the politics involved in the policymaking process regarding the policy, the reasons different people support and/or oppose the legislation (fairly present both sides), and its chances of failure/success (if it hasn't yet passed), its effect if it has passed, and of any pending or current legal action against the measure.
Here are some of the main qualities I will be looking for in an excellent paper on one specific policy:
1) Was the policy presented neutrally? Were both the proponents' and the opponents' perspectives given? These might go beyond the politicians involved to include various interest groups.
2) Was the policy followed through the entire legislative process, from introduction to cosponsorship, to committee, to floor vote, to governor's signature (or veto) (or for not yet enacted policies, as far as the policy made it in the process). Or, of the innerworkings of the city council, school board, etc. through to enactment into law.
3) Was the policy a purely partisan measure, or did it garner support from across the aisle? Were there factors other than partisanship that influenced support or opposition to the policy?
4) Were the effects of the bill presented using data from both sides ("An independent study found that the bag tax reduced plastic bag waste into the Potomac by 18% from 2010-2012. However, the Heritage Foundation notes that it has added 1.3% to the cost of the average family's grocery trip.")?
5) Have other states or locales sought to take up this policy or something similar? Are there regional, demographic, or policy similarities between the initial entity that passed the legislation and the adopting entity?
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Wyoming Statute (W.S.) 6-3-414
The statute in focus here is the Wyoming bill, Senate Enrolled Act 61, Wyoming Statute (W.S.) 6-3-414, signed into law by Wyoming Governor Matt Mead (R) in the second week of March 2015. In order to both present and understand—in a balanced way—the bill’s context, it is important to look at the legislation in some detail. According to the Act’s text, the statute establishes, defines, and legislates criminal penalties for the following crimes: “trespassing to unlawfully collect resource data [and] unlawful collection of resource data” (Senate, 2015, p. 1). Additionally, the act delimits the legally possible use of “unlawfully collected data” and makes provisions for the “expungement” of such data (p. 1). According to the accompanying document, “Trespassing to Unlawfully Collect Resource Data Frequently Asked Questions”, the law’s aim is to criminalize specifically trespassing to collect data, with more severe penalties than the statute for trespassing simpliciter provides. That statute on trespassing simpliciter, W.S. 6-3-303 defines trespassing as entering or remaining...
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