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Subject: Active Modifications, Passive Modifications, and strike and insert

Hi Monica, Fabio, and all,
I need to describe some details of the California process in the terminology we have evolved in the legaldocML meetings:
  1.  Bills propose new laws and/or modify existing law
       - When a bill proposes to modify existing law, those changes are "activeMods" in Akoma Ntoso terminology.
  2. Instruction Amendments propose amendments to Bills. 
       - An instruction amendment document equates to an Akoma Ntoso amendment document
       - When an instruction amendment proposes to amend a bill, those changes are also "activeMods".
  3.  When an Instruction Amendment is adopted, the amendments itemized are "engrossed" into the bill. The term for engrossing in Akoma Ntoso is "consolidation"
     - The engrossed changes, shown in the next version of the bill, are shown as strikes and inserts.
     - Those changes, in the next version of the bill, are "passiveMods" in Akoma Ntoso terminology.
  4. When a bill is adopted, it becomes a statute (or a chapter)
    - A statute is law when it is effective and operational (conditions which make it apply), while a bill is proposed law
    - A statute is an act. In some case, a statute defines standalone laws - such as a code.
    - A statute the defines standalone law is often given a name and can be referred to by that name instead of by the statute number. In this case, there are alias names for the same act. All codes are referred by be their name, not the statute. For instance, the Vehicle Code is also Chapter 3 of the statutes of 1959. It's almost always referred to as the Vehicle Code.
  5.  When a bill is adopted, any modifications itemized are "compiled" into the law (or the codes). The term for compiling in Akoma Ntoso also appears to be "consolidation" ????
     - Code compilation an bill engrossing are two very different processes - using the term consolidation for both will be confusing.
Next, I need to explain the different between the passiveMods and the strikes and inserts. They are not exactly the same thing. This is very important.
With word processing programs like MS Word, the strikes and inserts are exactly the changes being made. But this is not true in US style legislation and this difference is why this subject is so difficult. When building a legislative editor, the difference between the two accounts for over half the complexity of building the editor.
Simply put, the strikes and inserts reflect the changes that have been made to the document, but those changes are not always explicitly shown as simple strikes and inserts. Sometimes, the pattern behind the strikes and inserts tells a more complex story:
  1. When paragraphs are joined or split, specific patterns in the strikes and inserts denotes these changes.
  2. When new bill sections are added, any bill section that is modifying existing law gets special treatment. Rather than showing the entire bill section as an insertion, only the initial text (the action line in California's terminology) is shown as an insertion. Specifically, the quotedStructure is not shown as an insertion. Instead, the text that is being quoted (coming from the law) is shown as normal (non-inserted) text.
  3. If a bill is being "gutted" (rewritten in its entirety to address a different subject), then it is not necessary to show all the prior text that is being deleted. Instead, a partial deletion is shown along with a note that the rest of the text is being omitted for the sake of brevity.
  4. The first time that a bill section that contains an activeMod (modifying the law) is introduced, the changes proposed to the text of the law and displayed within the quoted structure, may contain strikes and inserts which are changes to law and are not passive changes to the bill.  This means that the initial version of a bill may contain strikes and inserts - but these changes are informative changes within quotedStructure. This situation arises in California and in most other states because modifications to the law must be done "in full". What this means is that any section modified must be replaced in its entirety even when the change is perhaps a minor word change. So the bill proposes all new text for the section as the modification, but the strike/inserts shows what the real change is as a detail.
    Note: In California, the first time a bill section contains an activeMod is shown, then any changes shown within its quotedStructure relate to the law and not to a prior version of the bill. However, in subsequent versions of the bill, the changes shown in the quotedStructure do relate to the prior version of the bill. This is ambiguous and is seldom understood - there are two distinct meanings to strike and insert within California legislation.  Some other states (such as Kansas and New Mexico), accumulate the changes in the quotedStructure to make it more clear just how the law is being proposed to be changed. You cannot see this detail in a California bill without a special tool to help you.
My presentation a few weeks ago also described these various ways of interpreting redlining. I have included that presentation with a few updates that reflect my newer understanding.
-- Grant
Grant Vergottini
Xcential Group, LLC.
email: grant.vergottini@xcential.com
phone: 858.361.6738

Attachment: California Redlining Examples.odp
Description: application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.presentation

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