Senate passes a measure. WTF is a measure?

Here’s a link to the story. Still don’t know what a “measure” is.

Yikes! Put this in the wrong category. Mods, please send this to GQ.

In the linked article, whatever it was the Senate passed is variously referred to as “legislation”, “the bill” and “the measure”.

The word “measure” has lots of meanings apart from the one of quantifying something in standard units. One meaning, current since the late C17 or early C18, is a plan or course of action aimed at some object. (“He took measures to defend the city against attack.”) Probably out of that sense arose, in mid-C18, the sense of a legislative proposal, and in due course the sense extended to refer also to a legislative enactment - i.e. legislation which is not merely under consideration, but which has actually been adopted. But it remains true that legislation is much more likely to be called a “measure” while it is proposed or under debate than it is when it has been adopted and is in force. And that is the sense in which it is used in the linked report.

Our friends at Merriam Webster offer this definition (#7)

This is a very common word used in reporting about the activities of legislatures.

So moved.

Pecks. Bushels. Cords.

Thanks for the move. Still seeking satisfaction.

Some hon. MEMBERS: Oh, oh, oh!

The story you linked to answers the question. It is “legislation.” It is a Senate Bill.

It’s probably that the specific “measure” in question involved an amendment to the bill, but the overall thing that the Senate passed was a law. The House will get their hands on it, and eventually something will be passed by both the House and Senate. Then the President gets a shot at vetoing it. If it passes all these hurdles, it becomes a law.

It’s a “proposed law.” It’s a legislative bill.

Legislative language isn’t really all that awfully thorny.

“Measure” is just a generic word for some sort of legislation, a term deliberately kept vague so it doesn’t differentiate between resolutions, referendums, bills, blah, blah, blah.

In this case the measure in question is probably Illinois Senate Bill 2674.

If you’re not familiar with how one of these measures is codified into law, read this:

I don’t think it has to be a proposed law; it could still be called a measure after it’s passed.

At least according to common usage and one dictionary:
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/measure (Collins #10)
“a legislative bill, act, or resolution”

It doesn’t differentiate between a bill in the Senate, a bill in the House, a passed law, a citizen referendum, etc. Any and all of those are measures.

I love you a bushel and a peck.
A bushel and a peck, and a cord around the neck.

–Doris Day

I’m a measure,
Yes, just a measure,
And I’m waiting to grant your pleasure.