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Historic Capitol

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Transcript of THE REAL Copy of HOW AN IDEA BECOMES A LAW (edit)

The Opportunity Scholarship program was one of
the new school voucher program ideas put forth nationwide. School voucher programs were a new public policy idea to address failing schools and poor test scores. Vouchers allowed students in failing public schools to switch to different
schools. The state government would
pay for the cost of switching. Then, the idea is proposed to a legislator or group of legislators in either the House or Senate.
If the legislator/s decides it's a good issue, then a bill is drafted. A new bill is filed and given a "First Reading."
Then the bill is assigned to a committee or several committees. Each committee is in charge of studying the bill, and reporting its findings to the whole House or Senate. In each committee, the bill is debated and amended if changes are needed. If approved in one committee, the bill moves onto the next assigned committee. Each committee studies the bill from a different perspective. THE BILL IS
PASSED! But wait
. . . Now a companion bill must make its way through the other Chamber following the same process! In order for it to become law, both bills must be identical. So, the bills go back and forth between chambers until a consensus is reached or they give up on the idea entirely. Once both Chambers pass an identical form of the bill, it proceeds to the Governor. If the Governor doesn't like the bill, he/she can decide to veto the bill. If that happens, the bill will go back to the Legislature where it will need a 2/3 majority vote in both the Senate and the House to override the veto. Congratulations! Pick one of the issues above, which are real issues from Florida's past. The Cross Florida Barge Canal The Equal Rights Amendment Opportunity Scholarship Program You get to decide if Florida should build a man-made waterway across the state. It will connect the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. This canal would allow barges to move goods and
people more quickly
and safely. 1961 1982 1999 You get to decide if Florida should ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The ERA would guarantee men and women equal rights. Thirty-five states have already ratified the amendment. If Florida does too,
it would set the stage for it to
be added to the U.S.
Constitution. You get to decide if Florida should provide "Opportunity Scholarships" to students in failing public schools. These scholarships would provide funds for these students
to go to a better public school or
private school. This program is
one part of former Governor
Jeb Bush's A+ Education
Plan. The Education Plan This bill would
change that... In 1971, the House passed it by the required two-thirds majority. The following year the Senate did the same. The
ERA was then sent to the state legislatures for ratification. The nation was divided
and so was Florida. The full text of the Equal Rights Amendment was short.
It read: Section 1:
Equality of rights under the law shall
not be denied or abridged by the
United States or by any State on account of sex. Section 2:
The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. Section 3:
This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification. Choose the proposed legislation YOU would like to learn about and debate! The A+ Education Plan was a proposed set of laws and policies that focused on school assessment and accountability to improve public schools in Florida. The most controversial part
of the A+ Education Plan is a bill called the "Opportunity Scholarship Program." A committee is a group of legislators chosen to study proposed bills. Because they are small, committees can look at the bill more closely than the whole House or Senate would be able to do. Committee meetings also allow time for the public to comment on proposed legislation. Now, you'll have to decide if you believe this public works project is a wise choice for the state! NOW IT'S
TO LEGISLATE! You will learn more about the bill's pros and cons. Then, you will get to decide if the proposed bill would be beneficial to the State of Florida. You will get the chance to stand on
the floor of the state House of Representatives, and speak for or against this amendment. Then your class will decide if the Equal Rights Amendment should be ratified! Many protests for and against the ERA have taken place around or on the grounds of the Historic Capitol. Though the supporters seemed to have more protestors, both sides have attracted the attention of the public and the media. Most importantly, these protests at the Capitol have been a way for citizens to communicate their beliefs on the issue to their elected leaders. In 1982, the Constitution did not clearly grant equal legal treatment for men and women. BUT WAIT!
Doesn't the U.S. Constitution already grant men and women equal treatment? All images in this frame are from the Florida Memory Collection Let's look at the text of the proposed amendment to see what the ERA would add to the U.S. Constitution! The Florida Legislature has tried to pass the Equal Rights Amendment three times since 1972. The Florida House of Representatives approved it all three times. But each time, the Florida Senate rejected it. The last time the House passed it, the vote was much closer than the first time. With the 1982 deadline here, no one can guess how either chamber will vote… People for and against the ERA have showed up to the
Capitol in Tallahassee to protest and let their senators
and representatives know what they thought about the issue. Many others who felt strongly about the ERA could not make the trip to Tallahassee. Instead, they called and wrote letters to their representatives expressing their views.
These are examples of actual letters that were sent to representatives in Florida.
Some of them outline arguments similar to those we just discussed. The money used for the school vouchers would come out of the state public education budget. If Florida passed this bill, it would be the first state in the nation to adopt a statewide school voucher program. Students had to be eligible to receive this "opportunity scholarship." To be eligible, their public school had to be rated as failing for two
years out of four. At this time, only four schools
in Florida are rated as failing. Roughly 170 schools are close to failing, however, and standards
will be raised next year... If eligible, parents could request
a scholarship for their child.
It would be worth about $4,000. Parents could give the scholarship to a better public school or private school, including
religious schools. Private schools
could choose to accept vouchers. If they did, they would have to accept the voucher as full tuition for these students. OPPORTUNITY

How would this program raise the quality of public education for K-12 schools in the state? Rep. Pro This program would improve public education for all of Florida's schoolchildren. This is because under this plan, schools would compete to keep their kids and their funding. Rep. Con This program would ruin the public school system in Florida. It would take money from failing public schools — schools that really
need the money — and give
that money to private
schools. Rep. Pro At this time, half of our 4th grade students can't read at grade level. This program would offer students in failing schools a chance to receive a better education, now! Rep. Con Public schools have to take FCAT tests, but private schools don't have to take the same tests. So, how do
we know if these students are
even receiving a better
education without a
uniform way to
measure it? Rep. Pro If failing schools get to keep
their students and funding,
what will motivate them
to improve? Rep. Con How can failing schools ever
improve if they are losing
both their money as well as
their best students to
private schools? WHAT
Does this law conflict with the separation of church and state? Rep. Pro If the law's purpose is to aid the common good, and the help to religious organizations is only incidental, the
courts have ruled that laws like
these are constitutional. To me,
this law fits that description. Rep. Con The U.S. Constitution says that there must
be a division between church and state.
But under this program the state government will be giving tax dollars
to religious organizations. The way
I see it, that makes this bill
unconstitutional! Rep. Pro Also, the "scholarships" do not go directly
to the schools. They go to the parents,
who sign them over to the school that
the parents choose to send their child to.
The choice is made by the parents,
not the government, so there
is no constitutional
conflict. Rep. Pro Well, it's not exactly the same as Milwaukee's program, but the bill does
have similar language. The bill states that the school cannot make a student "profess
a specific ideological belief, to pray or to worship." This will make sure a student
is not forced to accept a religion that
he or she doesn't believe just to
get a good education. Rep. Con A different voucher program, run by the City of Milwaukee in Wisconsin, has an "opt-out" clause written in the law. It states that no school that accepts a voucher can make a student participate in any religious
activity or class there. But the law
here in Florida doesn't even
have that guarantee. WHAT
THINK? Rep. Con Well, this law has to follow the State Constitution, too. That constitution goes even further than the U.S. Constitution.
It clearly says that money from the
public treasury cannot go to religious organizations, directly or indirectly.
It seems to me that this law will
violate that part of the State
Constitution. HOLD UP! I thought the judicial branch is the one who decides if a law is constitutional. Well, voting for an unconstitutional law would make you look silly...or worse!
(If you're a legislator, you ought to know your Constitution, right??!!) Why is this question important for a legislator to consider? Plus, it could waste taxpayer money. So if you're a legislator, you shouldn’t make the courts decide something a student would know is unconstitutional! Now that we got that straightened out, let's see what our Representatives think about the question... Once the Governor signs it, the seven days pass,
or the House and Senate both pass it by a
2/3 majority vote, then... First a little background information... Public policy is a method of action taken by the government. Its purpose is to address an issue of public concern. The A+ Education Plan was wide-ranging. It covered issues like improving teacher training programs and school safety. It also included several bills that had to be passed by the State Legislature. That means over 150,000 students could be eligible for vouchers next year! This is the
bill you'll be considering! All of the bill's committees
approved the program. So, the
day for the floor vote is almost here! For a taste of what's being said in the media, click the blue box below... But, sometimes the issue isn't clear one way or the other. In these cases, legislators have to make the best decision they can. If the law is passed, the courts have the
final say on whether it's constitutional. Question 2:
Would the canal improve trade and help businesses in Florida and the country? Rep. Pro Rep. Con The canal will bring jobs and business to the state. The Army Corps of Engineers estimates that the canal will pay for itself and grow the economy by over $17 million. Barges will help businesses sell large items across this country and the world.
Check out this video for more information! Of course, building anything costs money. But this canal will cost the federal government over $350 million! That is a lot of money to spend when we already have railroads and highways
in the state to serve the same purpose as
this canal. In my opinion, the help to
businesses will be very small and
not worth the cost of
building. WHAT
THINK? Question 1:
Would the canal help our military, especially if the country had to go to war? Rep. Con Rep. Pro During the 1998 election campaign, Jeb Bush mentioned this plan in most of his campaign speeches. His opponent, Buddy MacKay, the Lt. Governor at that time, was very much against it. They debated the issue several times. He argued that his election showed that Floridians were also behind this
new plan for schools. Gov. Bush strongly pushed the Legislature to pass all parts of his A+ Education Plan in his first State of the State address. Sure, the canal would give our military a safer route than the one near Cuba. Is that protection
really worth the canal’s $350 million price tag? WHAT
THINK? Bush won the election and became Florida's Governor in January 1999. A+ The State of the State address is a speech made once every year
by the Governor to the State Legislature. In the speech, the Governor explains the problems the State is facing. The Governor also outlines his/her vision for tackling those issues and asks the Legislature to pass the laws he or she is proposing. The President of the United States gives a similar speech to Congress called the "State of the Union." Mayors of many large cities also often give a "State of the City" address. The House and Senate both have many committees. Each committee studies different issues, such as education, natural resources, the budget, etc. A veto is the power of a chief executive to reject a bill passed by the legislature and prevent or delay it from becoming law. WHAT
THINK? Rep. Pro Rep. Con We have studied this canal for centuries. The canal
will only be 12-feet deep to make sure saltwater does not mix with the drinking water. It will also help
control floods and store water in times of drought.
This waterway will provide Florida's farmers with a
cheaper way to get their crops to markets.
On top of all that, this canal will provide new
waterways and lakes for fishing, boating,
and camping. Let's stop studying
the canal. Let's actually build it! Many residents are still worried that the canal might ruin Florida’s freshwater supply. They are also worried that saltwater might get into rivers. This would hurt both fishing and wildlife. I would recommend looking more closely at the negative effects this
canal might cause to our state’s
natural wonders. Once built, the
canal cannot be undone! Question 4:
Will the canal improve the state and nation's transportation system? The Governor can do one of three things... If the Governor approves of the bill, he/she can simply sign the bill into law. 1. 2. 3. THE IDEA HAS FINALLY BECOME A STATE LAW IN FLORIDA! The plan was written and
advocated by Gov. Jeb Bush and
Lt. Gov. Frank Brogan. Definition Definition Definition Definition For Example There is a proposed bill that would help school districts install speed detectors in school zones. This bill would be assigned to the Transportation Committee, Education Committee, and Budget Committee. Definition A companion bill is a version of the bill that moves through the other chamber. It addresses the same issue, and is very similar in language. How do legislators decide if this program will be good for Florida? Legislators and their staff research the issue for themselves. They also get input from their constituents by email, phone calls, letters, and meetings. Lastly, legislators debate each other in committee meetings and on the floor of the chamber. In the debates, each legislator argues why the law would be wise or unwise for the state. They hope their argument will sway undecided legislators and explain their vote to their constituents. Now for some specifics... Additionally, legislators are usually members of a
political party. Each party takes a stand one way
or the other way on an issue. The party leadership often pushes members to vote with the party. Legislators don't have to follow their party's advice.
But they often do so unless they really believe their
party is on the wrong side of the issue. Definition Political parties are organizations with a shared vision for how a good government should work. A party tries to influence legislation and government action. They do this by getting their members elected to political office. In the United States, the two major political parties are the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The bill is making its way through the Transforming Florida Schools Committee and the Education Appropriations Committee. Both committees need to approve the bill for it to reach the floor. Pay close attention to the debate. Then, consider your own opinion now that you are well-informed about the proposed bill! Rep. Con Rep. Pro Being able to cheaply and safely move goods builds a strong economy. That is why the government builds roads and canals and manages air traffic. In the 1820s, the Erie Canal connected the Atlantic Ocean
to the Great Lakes. It made New York City the
number one port in the country. New York City
is still the U.S.’s biggest city today! If we
make a quicker, safer route between the
Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico,
think of what it can do for
Florida! A good economy comes from wise decisions. But, this canal will serve the same purpose as the public interstate highways and private railroads. Can you explain to me why our government
should spend a lot of money on a
canal that is not really
needed? Question 3:
How will the canal affect Florida's natural resources and agriculture? President John F. Kennedy
"The new Russian menace makes a Florida canal a vital link in the national transportation system." President Kennedy George Smathers
U.S. Senator from Florida Florida Governor LeRoy Collins This map shows the proposed route for the Cross-Florida Barge Canal. Look carefully at the map. Try to notice the cities that will be connected by the canal. Also notice the state’s natural features, some of which may be changed during the canal’s construction.

This canal route is 171 miles long. It follows as many of the natural waterways as possible. By doing this, costs will be brought down and it will help conserve the environment. But, 32-miles of land would still need to be dredged to form the canal and two rivers would have to be dammed. “I regard it not only as important to Florida but to the economy of the entire country, which must fully utilize all our national resources
if we are to achieve necessary
economic expansion.” After hearing how the barge canal might affect trade and business in Florida... Definition Commerce is the exchange of goods between different countries or different regions within the same country. For example, a lot of orange juice is made in Florida. Then it's shipped and sold to grocery stores all over
the United States and other countries. This is commerce. Definition Communism is a type of government. Under communism, all resources, like factories and farms, are not owned by private companies or people. Instead, they are owned by the public or the government. Money is divided among citizens equally.

During the 1960s, the United States was fighting a "Cold War" against communist countries worldwide. These countries, including Cuba, were led by the Soviet Union. During World War II, many U.S. ships were sunk
by enemy submarines. We have the communist country of Cuba threatening our shores. This canal will provide a safe route for the military to move troops and supplies between the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean during any war.
Look at the map to see the benefits! Congressman Overton Brooks After hearing about how helpful the canal could be for the
U.S. military... Notice how close Cuba is to Florida. Does Rep. Pro have a good point? Definition Definition Natural resources are items that come from the environment that humans use for their benefit. These include many things, from oil and minerals, to fresh water and air. They even include things like seafood. Agriculture is the growing of plants and raising of animals for human use. It often refers to farming and livestock. But, it can also include lumber, shellfish, and even solar energy. The government is usually in charge of building canals because projects like these cost a lot of money up front. However, building them can help create new industries, jobs, and better living conditions. Most importantly, these public works projects
often offer long-term benefits and use for the general public. As a state legislator, your job
will be to listen to all the arguments and then decide if the project is in the best long-term interests of the State of Florida.

If you decide it's a good idea, then the U.S. Congress will decide if it's in the best interest of the rest of the country, since the federal government will be
providing the money for it! Public works projects cost a lot of money and
often affect the environment. The
government's goal is to pick good
projects. If they are good, they will
provide more benefits to the citizens
in the long run than the project will cost them
at the beginning. Elected officials
must also decide if the benefits to
the public will outweigh the cost
and risk to the environment. Bridges, parks, roads, dams, sidewalks, railroads, schools, hospitals, beaches, power plants, airports, and power lines are all public works projects.

National, state, and local governments
all provide different public works for its citizens. Why is the government in charge of building a canal? Spanish explorers searched and searched for a river that crossed Florida. This was because all around South Florida were dangerous coral reefs that caused many shipwrecks!
But, the explorers never found
a route across the state... The Erie Canal was
built in New York in 1825.
It brought lots of business to the state along the canal’s route. Seeing this, Florida legislators asked the U.S. Congress for money to build a canal across Florida! The Erie Canal did wonders for New York. It connected New York City to the Great Lakes, making New York City the #1 port in the country in 1850. Using barges on the canal reduced shipping-times by a factor of 3 and shipping costs for heavy materials by a factor of 20!
As you can see in the painting above, horses pulled the barges upstream
in the Erie Canal's early years. Later, barges used diesel engines to
travel through the canal. 1500s 1800s Mid-1930s The idea for a canal was brought up again
during the Great Depression. It was seen by many
as a good way to provide jobs to Floridians. Image from The plan was to build a 30-foot deep, 250-foot wide ship canal across the state. Some residents worried that a deep canal would allow saltwater to mix with the underground freshwater. This would ruin the water needed for drinking and watering crops. But, the project ran out of money with only 3% of it finished. Definition The Great Depression was a worldwide low point in economic activity. It began in 1929 and lasted about 10 years. Many people lost their jobs, homes, and life-savings. This picture is of the work done during that
time, so you can see what a canal
might look like! During World War II,
German submarines sunk many
U.S. ships near the Florida coast. Early 1940s Ships transporting oil were a favorite target of the Germans because the U.S. used that oil to power its vehicles, boats, and airplanes
needed to fight the war! The U.S. Congress wanted to give
American ships more protection during the
war. So, they approved the construction of a
canal across the state in 1942. Critics of this plan argued that because of the war, there
was not enough money, building materials, and men needed to
build the canal. Probably for these reasons, Congress never appropriated enough money for the project... Definition To appropriate is to assign or set aside money. This is the term usually used by Congress or a legislature. It describes the amount of money given to a particular department, program, or project.

FYI: Claude Pepper (who's flying the plane) was a U.S. Senator from Florida who supported the canal. 1. Was the Miami Herald for or against the canal? This Cartoon ran in the Miami Herald on July 6, 1942. The newspaper sent a copy of the cartoon to every member of Congress. ...the Cold War is in full swing. American shippers are worried
about their safety as they pass by Florida because Cuba (an
ally of the Soviet Union) is located only 90 miles away. Now, in 1961... Definition The Cold War (1945-1991) consisted of political and military tensions between western countries and communist countries. The West was led by the United States, while the Communists were led by the Soviet Union. The new proposal uses the same 1930s route. But instead of being 30 ft. deep, this one will only be 12 ft. due to past worries of saltwater mixing with the valuable fresh water. History of the Cross-Florida Canal The idea of building a canal across Florida is very old. It is good to know its history before you hear the proposed legislation! So, here is a little background information… BONUS! 2. Why would the Miami Herald send the cartoon to U.S. Congressmen? Questions So, what are the specifics? You can click the map and zoom in to get a better view! This centuries-old idea is simple:
The canal will bring new business opportunities to Florida since it can help ship items more quickly, safely, and cheaply.
This video explains... The bill you will be taking up as state legislators in Florida is called a memorial. If approved, the memorial will be sent to the U.S. Congress. It will tell Congress that Florida's lawmakers approve of the canal. It would also ask them to provide federal funding to build it. Definitions To dredge is to move underwater dirt to create a path for boats to travel through waterways such as canals, bays, and rivers. Dredging is often done with heavy machines.

To dam is to block the flow of water in the river. Because of this, a lake forms on one side of the dam. A dam can affect the speed that the river flows at further upstream as well. More Information
REMEMBER! A bill has to make its way through legislative committees that look at the bill from different perspectives. What happens at a committee meeting?
Committee members call experts
and public officials to speak about
the merits of a bill. Citizens can also share their opinions with their elected representatives and speak at these meetings! Next you will hear questions that might
be posed in the different legislative committees. Representative Pro will answer these questions by giving the main arguments for supporting this memorial. Representative Con will answer the questions by giving the main arguments against it. Pay close attention to
their arguments. Then think
about your own opinion now
that you are well-informed
about the proposed bill, too! For several hundred years, people have hoped for a quicker, safer route between the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean.

Should this route finally become a reality?
“The proposed barge canal construction of locks would maintain the groundwater level of the area adjacent to the canal... [It] has none of the inherent dangers present in the formerly proposed sea level ship
canal... [and will help Florida's] underground
freshwater resources by serving as a
conservation and flood-control
measure.” Now that you have heard how
the canal might help or hurt agriculture and natural
resources in the state... State Geologist Robert Vernon EXPERT TESTIMONY EXPERT TESTIMONY EXPERT TESTIMONY Then, an Expert Witness will also give his or her input on the proposal! WHAT
“Within four years of its completion, the Cross Florida Canal will carry as much tonnage as is now carried on the
Suez Canal." Florida Secretary of State Tom Adams Now that you have learned about how the canal could make the state and nation’s transportation system better... EXPERT TESTIMONY Now you understand the idea behind the canal. But, you might be asking yourself... For instance, committees for the barge canal might study:
How the canal might help businesses in the state
How the canal could make the state's transportation system better
How the canal would have an impact on the local environment and farming
How the canal would be used by the military More Information The Suez Canal is a canal that connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. This canal lets ships travel between Europe and Asia without having to go around Africa. In the 1960s, roughly 58 ships used the canal each day. In a year, ships carried about 274 million tons through the Suez Canal! Image Source: You know the canal’s history. You have heard the current proposal. And, you have also listened to some of the main arguments for and against this Cross-Florida Barge Canal... Once the memorial makes it through all of the committees it will go to the floor to be debated. Then, you'll have a chance to debate this bill on the floor of the state's historic House of Representatives!
That’s where you can tell everyone why you do or do not support the Cross-Florida Barge Canal memorial! COMMERCE & TRADE COMMITTEE MILITARY AFFAIRS COMMITTEE AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE TRANSPORTATION & TRAFFIC COMMITTEE The leader of the House of Representatives is called the Speaker of the House and the leader of the Senate is called the President of the Senate. These positions hold lots of power within the House and Senate, respectively. One of their responsibilities is assigning bills to their chamber's committees. Both also assign legislators to be members of these committees, usually at the start of session. If all committees approve the bill, then the bill is placed on the calendar to be heard on the floor. When it comes up on the calendar, it's debated, amended, and then voted on by the entire chamber! A concerned citizen, advocacy group, government agency, or legislator has an idea to make the State
a better place... The Governor can also choose not to sign the bill at all. After 7 days the bill becomes law without the Governor's signature. Public school districts are run at the county level. Within each county, different neighborhoods are zoned
for different public schools. That means families who live
in one part of town and want
to attend public school have to
attend the school they are
zoned for. Students usually are
not allowed to switch schools. How do Public Schools operate in Florida? Rep. Pro Consider the following questions and the debate that follows between Representative Pro and Representative Con. These are some of the main arguments made for and against the bill. Rep. Con Now that you've heard some arguments on how the bill will affect the quality of public education... Now that you've heard some arguments on whether the bill is constitutional... Question: Who assigns
the bills to committees? Remember! Citizens can get involved at any point in this process! They can call their elected officials, write them letters and emails, and even
schedule a meeting with them to talk about issues. Committee meetings are also open to the public. Citizens can ask to speak at these meetings to let their legislators know what they think on the matter!
Passed by Congress June 4, 1919. Ratified August 18, 1920. Text of the 19th Amendment Section 1: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2: Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. The 19th Amendment was the only amendment that spoke of any kind of equal treatment between men and women. Image from Library of Congress Two-thirds of the state legislatures call for an Amendment Convention. All states would send delegates to this convention. To ratify an amendment, three-fourths of the delegates would have to support it.
(This method has never been used.) Both chambers of the U.S. Congress can approve the amendment by a two-thirds vote. Then, the amendment is sent to the states. Three-fourths of all the state legislatures also have to pass the amendment. Once one of these options is completed, the amendment is ratified. That means our U.S. Constitution has a brand new amendment in it! 1. 2. ERA supporters tried to use the first way. For years,
they lobbied the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to pass the amendment. By the next year, 30 states legislatures had ratified the amendment!
But the ratifications began to slow down. In 1979, Congress extended the deadline three more years. By 1982, only 35 states had ratified the ERA. Three more states were needed for ratification.
Four state legislatures planned to hold special legislative sessions that summer to vote on ratifying it. Florida was one of these four states... Ratification of the ERA in 1982 THERE ARE TWO WAYS AN AMENDMENT CAN BE ADDED
How is a constitutional amendment different than a law? ANSWER!
An amendment goes into the nation's founding document, the Constitution. This means the amendment speaks about our society's basic beliefs about right and wrong. Amendments are also much harder to create than laws. They are also much harder to take away, once they are ratified. Well, you already have an idea of what it takes to make a law...
So, let's see what other steps are needed to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution! Why was the ERA having so much trouble getting the last few states to approve it? Five amendments had been quickly ratified in the last 30 years. When Congress passed the ERA in 1972, many people believed it would easily be ratified as well. But over the next 10 years, the opposite happened. As the deadline in 1982 approached, no one knew if it would be ratified or not! Let's look at some of the arguments for and against adding the ERA to the U.S. Constitution. That way you can make up your own mind! Associated Press
Supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment march down Pennsylvania Avenue
Aug. 26, 1977.
Question 1: Will the ERA help end discrimination in the workplace? Dr. Ann Scott Phyllis Schlafly I agree that these are problems. But the ERA is not the solution. Congress has already passed a law that guarantees equal rights in employment situations. The “ERA will do nothing for women in the field of employment which is not already done by the
Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972.”
Since it is already a law, we don't need to
pass the ERA. We just need to enforce
this law better. Today, women make less money than men for the same job. That means if a man makes $10 for completing a job, a woman might only be paid $6 or $7 for doing the exact same job. Women also are less likely to be chosen for jobs with higher pay or responsibilities. At this time, 84% of elementary school teachers are women. But only 20% of elementary school principals and only 1%
of school superintendents are women.
The ERA would make discrimination
like this illegal across
the boards. In 1973, a program called Firing Line with William Buckley aired a televised ERA debate between Ann Scott (in favor of the ERA) and Phyllis Schlafly (against it). This debate covered many of the arguments people had about the ERA during that time. Definition A school superintendent is the person who is in charge of all schools in a school district. Political activist Phyllis Schlafly in 1975
Michael Mauney / Time & Life Pictures / Getty

Read more:,8599,1889757,00.html#ixzz22K8QTPmQ Image from
Question 3: How will the ERA affect the military? Dr. Ann Scott Phyllis Schlafly If men and women have to register for the draft on an equal basis, no exemptions could be made for women. You could not “have a system whereby the women would get all the nice, easy desk jobs and the men get all the fighting jobs. You would have to be equal across the board—in combat, on warships, and
all up and down the line.” I don’t want to live
in a country where women are forced to
serve in the military or allowed to
fight combat, do you? “But if women are to be citizens and citizens are to be subject to the draft, then women should take the responsibilities as well as the rights of citizenship.”
This means that women should be drafted just like men. People would be placed in duties based on their abilities. Why shouldn't a woman be able to fight in combat if she is willing and able? Unfortunately,
our military denies capable women at this time.
But the ERA will change that.

Political activist Phyllis Schlafly in 1975
Michael Mauney / Time & Life Pictures / Getty

Read more:,8599,1889757,00.html#ixzz22K8QTPmQ Image from Definition The draft is a system in the United for selecting citizens to become soldiers during wartime. Registering for the draft was required for men, but not required or even allowed for women.
Question 2: How will the ERA affect marriage? Dr. Ann Scott Phyllis Schlafly Today married women have many rights special to women that they do not want to give up. For example, a wife “has the legal right to be supported by her husband. This is regardless of her own separate means. He can't make her go to work if she doesn't want to. She has the legal right and these are the laws which will be invalidated
by the Equal Rights Amendment." In 1982, many women still "do not have the right to be granted anything by their husband” by some state laws. These laws give men control of any property bought by the married couple. The ERA will make sure men and women are treated equally under the law when married. Political activist Phyllis Schlafly in 1975
Michael Mauney / Time & Life Pictures / Getty

Read more:,8599,1889757,00.html#ixzz22K8QTPmQ Image from
Question 4: Could we just pass laws against discrimination? Why is the amendment necessary? Dr. Ann Scott Phyllis Schlafly We have been changing our laws that allow for discrimination between women and men. The 1972 Equal Opportunity Act is an example of that. Most Americans agree with that. But many Americans
do not agree with many of the changes that this Equal Rights Amendment would bring to our
society. Let’s reject this amendment. We
can stop discrimination by making
more good laws as they
are needed. “But if we waited to change the laws, law by law, we would wait something like 200 years before we would have complete equality under the law.”
The amendment is simple and morally right:
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Stop legal discrimination between
men and women. Add this amendment to the
U.S. Constitution! WHAT
THINK? Now that you have heard the debate about whether or not this amendment will be a good choice for the country... Political activist Phyllis Schlafly in 1975
Michael Mauney / Time & Life Pictures / Getty

Read more:,8599,1889757,00.html#ixzz22K8QTPmQ Image from Vice President for Legislation of the National Organization for Women (NOW) National Chairman of STOP Equal Rights Amendment National Chairman of STOP Equal Rights Amendment National Chairman of STOP Equal Rights Amendment National Chairman of STOP Equal Rights Amendment Vice President for Legislation of the National Organization for Women (NOW) Vice President for Legislation of the National Organization for Women (NOW) Vice President for Legislation of the National Organization for Women (NOW) You can click each letter to read them better and use the zoom feature if needed.
4. Rally for the ERA on the steps of the Historic Capitol. (Florida Memory) Click on any picture for a better view. In the Prezi Debate, the text in quotes comes from the Firing Line debate. The rest is paraphrased from the Firing Line debate or is a summary of general arguments at the time. Did any of the signs or letters change your mind or make you think differently about the issue? FL Rep. Gene Hodges and sign opposing ERA amendment
State Archives of Florida,
Photograph by Donn Dughi Transcript at: This will be Florida’s last chance to ratify the amendment. Only three more states are needed for ratification. If Florida votes for it, many believe at least two more states will follow in their footsteps before the deadline.
What should Florida's legislators do? OR Once the bill makes it to calendar for the floor for debate, you'll have a chance to debate this bill on the floor of the state House of Representatives!
That’s where you can tell everyone why you do or do not support the legislation for creating the Opportunity Scholarship program! Let's take a look at some other public works projects, so you'll get a better idea of what they are...
Full transcript