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Author: Kathleen Merrigan, Ph.D.

Paper Assignments

There are three related paper assignments. Begin by obtaining a pending legislative bill of interest to you (either from the current Massachusetts legislature or the U.S. Congress). Write three memoranda in relation to all or part of the bill. Consistent with real world practice, these memos must be succinct—two pages (single-spaced) are optimal with three pages being the absolute limit. The three assignments are described below followed by examples of successful student work.

Exercise #1

Assume the role of a senior staff member to the Chairman of the Senate committee in charge of the bill. Write a memo to your boss summarizing the main issues of concern and the pros and cons of passing the bill. Provide your recommendation for action, including an analysis of the politics. Please attach a copy of the bill to the memo.

Policy memo tips and resources for exercise 1.

Federal:

Massachusetts:

Things that could be included in your memo: see document

Exercise #2

Assume that your chosen bill has become law. Assume the role of a senior assistant to the head of the agency responsible for implementing all or portions of the bill. Write a memo advising your boss about the areas for which regulations have to be drafted and the administrative and budget ramifications for doing so.

Policy memo tips and resources for exercise 2.

Federal Resources

Refer to other websites listed in the links section from Week 5.

Things that could be included in your memo: see document

Exercise #3

Choose a nongovernmental organization (nonprofit or for profit, local, regional or national) interested, or potentially interested, in your chosen bill. Assume the role of the executive director reporting to his/her board of directors. Describe your position on the bill and strategies to win on your issues. On a separate page, describe the organization, including its structure, budget, and a brief history of its role vis a vis the government.