Bill Drafting Division: The Bill Drafting Division of the Legislative Services Office is located in Room 401 on the fourth floor of the Legislative Office Building. The Division is staffed by a Director (Gerry F. Cohen), fifteen professional drafters, one permanent and two temporary secretarial employee, an enrolling clerk, and an assistant to the enrolling clerk. Legislators may present their bill-drafting requests to this office in person or by telephone (733-6660). If the legislator knows which drafter the legislator wishes to talk with, the legislator may call for that person. Otherwise, the secretary will refer the legislator to the drafter who specializes in the field affected by the requested draft. When all staff attorneys are temporarily occupied, the secretary will take the request and transmit it to the appropriate drafter as promptly as possible. A drafting request may also be sent by e-mail or FAX to the Director or to the staff attorney handling the subject matter area. Drafting requests and bills drafted are confidential within the Bill Drafting Division Office until the sponsoring legislator releases them. The enrolling office, which prepares enacted legislation for signature by the presiding officers and presentment to the Governor, is located within the Bill Drafting Division. Additionally, the Bill Typing and Proofreading Sections are located administratively with the Bill Drafting Division.
Research Division: The Research Division of the Legislative Services Office provides staffing support (broad range of legal and nonfiscal research, and drafting and redrafting of amendments and committee substitutes) to selected standing committees on a regular basis and, where requested, to conference committees. The Division also provides, subject to availability of personnel, a significant amount of initial drafting of bills where the subject matter concerns legislative procedure or internal legislative operations (creation of interim legislative study commissions and committees, modification of House or Senate rules, etc.) or other matters within the expertise of individual staff members. Drafting requests in these areas may be presented to the Director of Research (Walker Reagan, Room 545, Legislative Office Building; Phone: 733-2578). Research and drafting requests made to Research Division personnel are kept confidential under the provisions of the law on confidentiality of legislative communications.
Normally, a legislator should use the services of the Bill Drafting Division, Research Division, or the Attorney General's Office for bill drafting. There is, however, no requirement that those offices draft all bills. The legislator may do his/her own drafting, or he may turn to any other competent source.