Learn your state's legislative deadlines
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Learn Your State's LEGISLATIVE PROCESS
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STATE LEGISLATURE CITIZEN LOBBYIST ARTICLES
Many states have a publication that tells you the how to testify at one of their committee hearings and to read their bills and understand their bill information pages. These articles can not only provide you with details on what you need to submit or have to testify and deadlines, but also some policies they have about testifying. Also, be sure to check any visitor guide as it may contain information on what can or cannot be brought in.
Attend or participate in any lobbying courses or activities online or in your area.
View any citizen lobbyist articles your state publishes
Read a detailed citizen lobbyist guide
Know your state's legislative session
(use link above)
DETAILED CITIZEN LOBBYIST GUIDES
There are many citizen lobbyist guides online that teach people how to lobby. For UAPPEAL, we have an animal specific Government 101 Guide, most of which is online.
MANEUVERING STATE LEGISLATURE WEBSITE
It is important to know how to maneuver around your state legislature’s website to look up bills and hearings and find your legislators. Also, be aware that legislatures can change their site every legislative session, which requires figuring out how to find them again.
Each state has a set of legislative deadlines that must be met each year. They include deadlines for when: a state can start and end prefiling bills for the next year, convene date, recess breaks, introducing bills, passing bills in the committee of origin, passing bills in the chamber of origin (crossover deadline), passing bills in the committee of the 2nd chamber, passing the 2nd chamber, transmitting bills to governor, governor signing deadlines, and final adjournment. Some dates are mandatory and others can be extended by a majority of the legislature. Be sure to find your state’s legislative deadlines for the year.
Learn how to maneuver around legislature website to find bills, session status and hearings
For those with no experience with lobbying, we recommend you first check out our lobbying brochures. They briefly cover the following topics:
Next, learn your state’s specific legislative process (how a bill becomes a law). Does it go straight to a committee? Does it have one or two readings first? Some states even do joint committees where a bill will go to a committee, and if approved, goes to both chambers at the same time for approval.
Learn when your state meets and for how long. Some states meet only a couple months and others all year. Some states meet 1 year and others for 2 years. Know when your state convenes and is expected to adjourn.