Senate bill 2291 (S. 2291)
Plain Language in Government Communications Act of 2007
— Version #1, Introduced November 1, 2007
Click here to go directly to the bill (below).
In the 110th Congress, shortly after the first plain language bill (short title, "Plain Language in Government Communications Act of 2007") had been introduced in the House, a similar bill—Senate Bill 2291 (S. 2291)—with same title was introduced in the Senate. The bill (shown below as Version #1) would die in the Senate, without amendment.
In the next term, the 111th Congress, similar legislation was introduced as S. 574, now entitled "Plain Writing Act of 2009." That bill would have one more version, but a House bill introduced with the same title would ultimately win passage by both houses of Congress as the Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Public Law No. 111-274; 124 Stat 2861).
About Version #1
Version #1 (below) represents the (sole) version of Senate Bill 2291 (S. 2291) as it was originally introduced in the Senate by Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) on November 1, 2007, and referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (Joseph I. Lieberman (I-CT), Chairman). On April 10, 2008, the committee ordered it reported favorably, without any amendment, to the full Senate, which was done on July 10, 2008, at which time the bill was placed on the Senate Calendar, under General Orders, Calendar No. 869. The bill died in the Senate, as no further action was taken on it.
(For a history of the legislative process by which the various plain language bills struggled through Congress and ultimately resulted in passage of the Plain Writing Act of 2010, see the Legislative History project of the Plain Writing Association by clicking here. The project also gives more details about the amendments made to the various versions.)
For purposes of this project, the Version #1 is the introduced version and any susequently reported versions, provided that they added no amendments. Version #2 is the amended version of Version #1; and so on. Thus, Version #3 would be an amended version of Version #2; and Version #4 would be an amended version of Version #3. In short, as long as a version of a bill does not change (for example, from the time it's introduced to the time it's reported out of a committee), it is treated as a single version.
Each bill shown has indications of what material is different from the previous bill shown. Red with overstrike is what was in previous one but not in current one; green is what is in current but not in the previous one. These proofreading-like marks provide an excellent sense of the thinking that went into the process of revision and markup from one version to the next; this is not meant to suggest, however, that the actual revision necessarily utilized only the immediately preceding version.
Sources of original versions include GovTrack.us and Thomas.LOC.gov
Scroll down to the bill (farther below).
Plain Writing Legislation: A Comparison of Bills
— This Project of the Plain Writing Association uses proofreading marks and side-by-side comparisons to show how the various versions of the major plain writing bills of the last few years evolved into the Plain Writing Act of 2010. (MORE)
Plain Writing Legislative History
This Project of the Plain Writing Association presents a legislative history of the passage of the Plain Writing Act of 2010, documenting the process by which failed plain-writing legislation in the 110th and 111th Congresses ultimately led to the Act. (MORE)
Government Use of Plain Language Editing Software
This Project of the Plain Writing Association is a separate website (StyleWriterForGovernment.com) which advocates the use of the ground-breaking plain-English editing software known as StyleWriter Software to assist government in writing more clearly and concisely, in compliance with the Plain Writing Act. (MORE)
The Media's Response to Plain Writing Legislative Efforts
This ongoing Project of the Plain Writing Association attempts to document the media's response to the legislative efforts leading to the Plain Writing Act of 2010. Focusing mainly on the period from 2007 to 2010, the Project, arranged chronologically, presents links to articles and posts in blogs, newspapers, and other periodicals. (MORE)
A Historical Bibliography of the Plain Language Movement
— This ongoing Project of the Plain Writing Association presents links to articles that cover the main categories of the history of the plain language movement within American government. (MORE)