"Existing agencies also demonstrate .that it is possible to provide expert drafting service for the more important measures and some assistance in the drafting of all bills introduced. The number of bills for which expert drafting assistance can be furnished would appear to be merely a question of the size of the force and the amount of the appropriation for its support. Your committee, therefore, believes that it is entirely practicable to establish, in connection with any legislature, a permanent agency capable of giving expert drafting assistance for all bills introduced, and they urge the Association to place itself on record as favoring such an agency as the most practical means of bringing about scientific methods of legislation, that is to say, methods of drafting statutes which will secure (1) conformity to constitutional requirements; (2) adequacy of the provisions of the law to its purpose; (3) coordination with the existing law; and (4) the utmost simplicity of form consistent with certainty.
"The organization of the two services, legislative reference and legislative drafting, and their relation to each other, are important factors in the usefulness of the results obtained from the establishment of the service. The agencies now existing, considered from the point of view of organization, fall into two classes; those in which the legislative reference work and the bill drafting are provided for in a single permanent bureau, as in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Pennsylvania, and those in which the legislative reference work is carried on by the state library or one of its divisions, the drafting work being done by persons appointed by and operating under the direct control of the legislature, as in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Your committee does not feel that they are as yet in a position to express an opinion on the relative merits of either form of organization. They are, however, of the opinion that the reference service should be so organized and operated as to be directly contributory to the drafting service, and that all questions of organization of the two services, their physical location and the relation of the reference work to other ends than the drafting of bills, as, for instance, supplying to legislators and others material for the discussion of pending or possible legislation, should be decided with this fundamental principle in mind. Where, as in New York, the reference service is not used by the drafting department, comparatively little use of the reference service is made by members of the legislature. Again, if the drafting service makes no use of the reference service, the drafting service is necessarily confined to minor matters of form.
"It is, of course, essential that the member, administrative officer, committee, or commission, employing the drafting service shall be the final judge of the policy to be expressed in legislative form. Anyone entited to use the service should be entitled to it without regard to the effect of the bill which he desires to have drawn. It is, however, not only proper but vital if the drafting service is to do more than correct obvious clerical and formal errors, for those in charge of the work to be able, through their access to the reference material, to indicate, if desired, to the sponsors of the legislation the statutes of other states or countries dealing with the same subject, or direct their attention to any other material collected by the reference service. Theoretically, the member of a legislature desiring assistance in the preparation of bills.if there is no cooperation between the reference and the drafting service, can go first to the reference service for material and then to the drafting service. Practically, however, in the great majority of cases, the member seeks the aid not of the reference but of the drafting service. That service should be in a position to place the member in possession of all pertinent matter in relation to the subject. Furthermore, the draftsman himself should be in a position to ask the person, commission, or committee intelligent questions as to the details of the measure desired. This he cannot do unless he himself has some familiarity with the subject-matter. Where the draftsman is not in a position to refer the person or persons desiring the. legislation to material bearing on the subject, and where he is not in a position to ask intelligent questions as to details, his assistance is necessarily confined to minor questions of form and, consequently, the effectiveness of drafting service is reduced to a minimum. The valuable results obtained in Wisconsin are due to a combination of causes, not the least of which is the personality and ability of Dr. Charles McCarthy, the well-known head of the service. Another contributory cause, however, is the fact that that service has gone beyond mere form, without any attempt to control matters of policy, and this would have been impossible if the reference work had not been organized so as to be contributory to the drafting service.
"Your committee also believes that another essential requisite is that both services shall be so organized as to secure permanency of tenure. To be of real value the service must be used and this cannot be unless there is confidence both in the competency and the impartiality of the personnel of the service. Under the most favorable conditions such confidence is a matter of slow growth. There is a great difference in the value of the service in different states, where either a reference or a drafting service or both have been organized. There is also even more difference in the use which is made of the services established. We are glad to report that the reappointment of directors and chief assistants, regardless of party considerations, is almost universal. It is to this fact, as well as to the inherent necessity for both branches of this service, in view of existing conditions, that the growing confidence in the work of the respective organization in the several states where the service exists may be traced."