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Subject: Re: [legaldocml] Acts and bills

Here is House Resolution 5 from this year's session in California:
It simply commemorates the 100th anniversary of Rosa Parks' birth. It is obvious that it proposes no law. Nonetheless, it is an official document of the California Assembly. It was adopted on February 4th. It is not now a Statute and will not be entered into the Statutes of 2013. It is merely a statement honoring a great American.
Here is Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 from this year's session in California:
It simply re-designates Diane Boyer-Vine as Leg. Counsel for this session. Again, it is proposing no law. It passed and was entered into the "Resolution Chapters" for this session. It does this by virtue of being a Concurrent Resolution which was passed by both houses.
Here is Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1 from this year's session in California:
It proposes an amendment to the people of California to amend the constitution relating to the powers of the Legislature. It clearly limits how the Legislature may make law and specify how agencies that have delegated law making powers answer back to the legislature. If it is adopted, it will be chaptered as a "Resolution Chapter" rather than in the regular statutes of 2013.
In the jurisdictions I have worked thus far:
1. A Resolution is a formal written motion taken up by a legislature
2. A Non-Binding Resolution expresses an opinion of the legislature or takes up some other matter not related to creating law. It will not become law if adopted. It does not become an act and is not referred to as a statute.  Sometimes a Non-Binding Resolution is simply called a Resolution.
3. A "binding" resolution is known as a Bill (In the US House, a Joint Resolution is also a "binding" form of a resolution in most cases) A Bill proposes law and will become law if adopted.
4. Another type of motion is an Amendment. Its purpose is to amend a Bill or Resolution currently being considered.
5. A Constitutional Amendment is not an Amendment in the same sense. It is instead a Resolution and results in a proposition to the people that must be passed in order to enter into law. At the US Federal level, it is a Joint Resolution that requires ratification of the states in order to become law. In some respects, a Constitutional Amendment straddles the line between a bill and a resolution and falls one way or the other depending on the jurisdiction.
6. A Bill that is adopted becomes an Act when it is promulgated (I think). It is also referred to as a Statute.
7. A Non-Positive Law Title of the US Code is not enacted, was never a Bill, and thus is not, in itself, Law. It is not an Act.
In Akoma Ntoso, there exists tags for motions that are Bills and Amendments and for Bills that have gone on to become Acts. Unless I am very much mistaken, there exists no tags for Resolutions (#2 above) other than Bills or non-authoritative representations of the law (#7 above). Arguing that the terms "bill" and "act" are simply metonymies for broad concepts of document asks that the established meanings, sometimes defined in stone in the Constitutions, be relaxed. This seems unlikely to be acceptable in many situations.
Let me give a counter-example to make my point. Imagine the argument were not about the word act but was instead about the word statute. That word could just as easily have been selected as the term for the general concept of a law. Go back and look at ACR 1 above. It's clearly granting powers using a clearly defined meaning for the word statute just as it is clearly using the word bill. it is not for us to tamper with those meanings. It has been my experience that being sensitive to the established meaning of these words and concepts is a requirement.
It is important that the models we adopt be sufficiently accurate and comprehensive to correctly portray how a legislature views their legislation. In my job, I perform a document analysis. I echo back what the drafters at the legislature teach me as a taxonomy which is then mapped into a schema. If that schema does not fit or it appears I am force fitting terms to tags in ways that are tortured and require suspending disbelief to accept, then my credibility and the credibility of the technologies I suggest is put on the line.

On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 6:35 AM, Daniel Bennett <daniel@citizencontact.com> wrote:
Perhaps a Google hangout or Skype or other phone conference might be helpful on this subject, compared to this email thread. Again, I liked Monica showing one example of an instantiation of something into AKN. However, it would be helpful to me and perhaps other to see the California and/or other jurisdiction have each possible document mapped to AKN types. Fabio has a good written explanation, but to go one step forward with the AKN example would help me.

This points out the problems of semantics overtaking the object naming which could allow representations in element and attribute to be more difficult than needed, perhaps.

On 2/11/2013 9:10 AM, Aisenberg, Michael A. wrote:
"Parochial" as in narrow...but unduly local might also fit...knucklehead is a US epithet referring to someone who does something foolish...
------Original Message------
From: McGibbney, Lewis John
To: Mr Michael Aisenberg
To: 'fabio@cs.unibo.it'
To: 'legaldocml@lists.oasis-open.org'
Subject: RE: [legaldocml] Acts and bills
Sent: Feb 11, 2013 03:53

Hi Michael,
You find the conversation parochial because it refers in some sense to a church parish or because it is narrow in its scope and views? I assume it has to be one of the two.
I am not quite getting you here!
What are knuckleheads? In line with this thread, I am not familiar with the terminology.

From: legaldocml@lists.oasis-open.org [legaldocml@lists.oasis-open.org] On Behalf Of Aisenberg, Michael A. [maisenberg@mitre.org]
Sent: 11 February 2013 03:03
To: 'fabio@cs.unibo.it'; 'legaldocml@lists.oasis-open.org'
Subject: Re: [legaldocml] Acts and bills

I find this discussion frighteningly parochial.
Fear of deferring to the U.S. Federal construct, which has been settled since the first edition of Jefferson's Manual, seems to be creating an unnecessary tempest.
The distinction is entirely procedural and depends on the instrument's posture in the process.  The term "bill" has since the Second Session of the First U.S. Congress referred to any writing seeking to become an element of the U.S. Statutory system ("Public "Laws") properly introduced into one of the two houses of Congress.  In its introduced form, it may (and now commonly does) adopt the style and caption of the form it will have if passed--that is, it refers to itself as an "Act"...BUT IT IS NOT an "ACT" until passed by both houses (at which point it is No Longer a "bill")  and sent to the President for his signature, at which point, the Act will become
Michael Aisenberg. Sent from handheld.
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Grant Vergottini
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