STANDARD CE.7a
The Lawmaking Process

The student will demonstrate knowledge of how public policy is made at the local, state, and national levels of government by

a) explaining the lawmaking process.

How do the Virginia General Assembly and the United States Congress make laws?

Officials who are elected to serve in the state and national legislatures make laws.

Terms to know

Bicameral: Having two houses (e.g., the Senate and the House of Representatives)

The Virginia General Assembly and the United States Congress are bicameral legislatures.

Legislative powers

Expressed (specifically listed)
Implied (used to carry out expressed powers)


The lawmaking process in national and state legislatures

Working in committees
Debating on the floor
Voting on a bill by both houses
Signing the bill into law by the President or governor

Elected officials write laws and take action in response to problems or issues.

Individuals and interest groups help shape legislation.

STANDARD CE.7b
The Executive Branch

The student will demonstrate knowledge of how public policy is made at the local, state, and national levels of government by:

b) describing the roles and powers of the executive branch.

What are the roles and powers of the executive branch at the state and national level?

The powers of the executive branch are defined in the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of Virginia.

The executive branch at the state and national levels carries out the law.

Ways the executive branch influences policymaking

Proposing legislation in an annual speech to the legislature (State of the Commonwealth or State of the Union Address)
Appealing directly to the people
Approving or vetoing legislation
Appointing officials who carry out the laws

Cabinet departments, agencies, and regulatory groups interpret and help with carrying out laws.
 

STANDARD CE.7c
Impact of the Media

The student will demonstrate knowledge of how public policy is made at the local, state, and national levels of government by:

c) examining the impact of the media on public opinion and public policy.

What influence does the media have on public policy and policymakers?

The media informs policymakers and influences public policy.

Ways media play an important role in setting the public agenda:

Focusing public attention on selected issues
Offering a forum in which opposing viewpoints are communicated
Holding government officials accountable to the public

Government officials use the media to communicate with the public.

STANDARD CE.7d
Individuals and Interests Groups Influence Public Policy

The student will demonstrate knowledge of how public policy is made at the local, state, and national levels of government by:

d) describing how individuals and interest groups influence public policy.

How do individuals and interest groups influence policymakers?

Individuals and interest groups influence public policy.

Terms to know

Lobbying: Seeking to influence legislators to introduce or vote for or against a bill

Ways individuals influence public policy:

Participating in politics (voting, campaigning)
Expressing opinions (lobbying, demonstrating, writing letters)
Joining interest groups

Ways interest groups influence public policy:

Identifying issues
Making political contributions
Lobbying government officials