How To Pass State Legislation

May 22, 2017

Choose a bill or bills: Better to have individual specific bills rather than one large complicated bill


Build a relationship: (Usually before you have an actual  bill)  Build relationships with your state representatives and senators.  Constituents always get time.

Explain your story in less than 2 minutes
Give facts & figures on how wide the problem is
Give your solution
Ask for their help

Sponsor a bill?
Who do they know who would sponsor?
Who do they know who might be supportive?


Expand: Build relationships with other state representatives and senators. Build a database of each elected official's:

Interest level
Commitment level
Background (occupation, affected?, hobbies)


Staff Counts: Know and have a relationship with their staff!!!!!!!(especially if you are in a state with term limits)


Bill Sponsors: Determine sponsors for the bill


Get Ahead of It: Always try and pre-file the bill!!!!


More Relationships: Build a relationship with your Speaker of the House and President of the Senate


Even More Relationships: Build a relationship with the committee chair of any potential committee which could be assigned – Judiciary, General Laws, Family Services, etc.


Meetings: Meet with every committee member on each of those committees


Build a Strategy: Strategize as to which committee would be best to have the bill assigned.


Assignments: Meet with your sponsors and the Speaker of the House to make sure the bill gets assigned to the committee you want.


Prepare: Prepare for committee hearings

Who is supportive and who oppose amongst committee members?
Who is your opposition and how will you counter their arguments?
Layout a strategy and logistical flow to the testimonies.
Have a diverse group of testimonies – women, grandmothers, different races, different ages, professionals, non-professionals, attorneys
Make sure each testimony covers a different point without too much overlap
Make sure everyone prepares and outline, practices and keeps their testimony to under 3 minutes or so.
Have a power closer (attorney) who can summarize, clarify, counter arguments and end with a power close


Calls to Action: Have a call to action crew prepared to call & e-mail Chairman and other committee members.


Prep Others: Prepare the Speaker that a vote should be coming in the committee.  Ask for their help speeding that up & for them to prepare for a vote on the Floor.


Continue to Prep Others: Prepare the other chamber that the bill will be coming over




Key Points to Always Remember!!!!

 You must have strong relationship with all legislatures.

 Never threaten, intimidate or tell a legislator you will have them voted out of office – you may as will carry a sign that says “I don’t ever want parents to see their kids.

  Never forget to take the time to build strong relationships with Legislative Staff

  Patience – Passing a bill is normally a 2-4 year process

  Never forget to Thank legislators who meet with you.  So many people only want to complain instead of showing appreciation for support

  Keep the message positive and focused on solutions

  Never take more than 3 minutes to tell your personal story

  Keep your visits to under 10 minutes, don’t win the battle to lose the war.

  Don’t’ burn your bridges!!!!  Remember, if things aren’t going your way this year, you’ll still need the help of those same people next year.

  Don't forget to subscribe to our community database.


Cheryl Feinberg