Legislative Process Capstone – 6411
This is a field work course designed to teach law students about how the state legislature operates and makes law. It is good preparation for careers in government as legislative staff, agency lawyers, or as elected officials or for work in the private sector in fields where legislative relations are relevant. Students will learn about the drafting legislation, lobbying, the power and process of standing committees, budgeting, amendment, state tax and spending policy, ethics, conference committees, and statutory interpretation. Students will write a paper describing the history of a major omnibus bill from introduction to passage by both houses and reconciliation by the conference committee during the current legislative session. They will describe how Minnesota’s policy approach compares with other states, identify the major public policy issues represented by the bill, and the competing values and perspectives of different interest groups affected by the bill. The students will learn how budget constraints interact with policy choices and how conference committees compromise different legislative positions.