Latin American legislatures have been characterized as reactive, as they respond to presidential initiatives rather than creating their own. While this tells us what role the executive will play vis-à-vis the legislature, it does not tell us much about which bills are likely to become law. Using data from the Colombian legislation between 1986– 1990 and 1994–1998, we examine the determinants of policymaking by assessing the impact that partisanship, co-sponsorship, authorship (executive vs. legislature), and bill content/target (national vs. local/parochial) have on bill passage. After controlling for other potential influences, results suggest that presidents are proactive, nationally focused, and more successful in getting legislation passed. Moreover, the partisan identification of the bill’s author, the number of co-sponsors, and the workload of the committee to which a bill is assigned all affect the fate of legislation. Determining which bills succeed and which fail offers insights into the process of lawmaking in legislatures generally.


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pp. 7-33
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