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Louisiana Legislature

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  • * 07/16/96 * ##

Louisiana Legislature Louisiana Legislature Presentation Transcript

  • Louisiana State Legislature How to be successful in the Legislative Process
  • Overview
    • The Legislative Branch
    • How a bill becomes law
    • How to be effective in the process
  • The Legislative Branch
    • The Legislature consists of two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The state constitution establishes the maximum number of senators and representatives, which is the present membership: Senate, 39; House, 105; total, 144.
  • The Legislative Branch
    • Annually, each house meets in its own chamber at the capitol in Baton Rouge for a regular session. Odd-numbered and even-numbered year regular sessions are conducted differently.
    • Even numbered – unlimited bills, no taxes
    • Odd numbered – limited to fiscal matters + 5 non-fiscal bills per lege
  • How a Bill Becomes Law
    • Pre-filing of bills – during the pre-filing period legislators can introduce unlimited bills (only 5 of which can be non-fiscal during a fiscal session).
    • Each bill is introduced into its respective house and referred to a committee by the presiding officer.
  • How a Bill Becomes Law
    • Both the Senate and House have standing committees that meet during legislative sessions to consider and report on proposed legislation.
    • To see a list of committees, go to legislative website and click on either House or Senate on top menu.
  • How a Bill Becomes Law
    • Committees meet generally on a weekly basis. Some committees meet two days per week.
    • Committee schedules are generally posted 24 hours prior to the meeting.
    • The legislative website will show when a bill is to be heard in committee.
  • How a Bill Becomes Law
    • When the bill is heard in committee, a report will be issued stating whether or not the bill was reported favorably, unfavorably, deferred, or voluntarily deferred.
    • Sometimes a bill will be scheduled for a committee hearing and the author will request that the bill be heard at a later date.
  • How a Bill Becomes Law
    • Amendments can be added to the bill and sometimes, a whole new bill is substituted.
    • If a bill passes out of committee favorably, it goes to the full house or senate for a vote. This generally happens several days after the committee hearing, but can be many days after the hearing.
  • How a Bill Becomes Law
    • The bill will come up for debate on the floor. It can be amended and members will vote on amendments. A vote will be called and for most bills, a simple majority of members is required to pass a bill.
  • How a Bill Becomes Law
    • If the bill passes, it goes to the opposite house and the process starts again.
    • If there are no changes to the bill by the opposite house, the bill is sent to the Governor.
  • How a Bill Becomes Law
    • If there are changes, and the originating house does not accept the changes – conference committee.
    • If both houses accept conference committee report – goes to the Governor. If not, the bill fails.
    • Governor can sign, veto, or allow to go into law without signature.
  • How to be Effective
    • Identify bills you wish to follow
    • Become familiar with Louisiana Legislative Website
    • http://www.legis.state.la.us
  • How to be Effective
  • How to be Effective
  • How to be Effective
    • Lobbying for passage of your bill:
    • Develop talking points on your bill – why a legislator should be in favor of it.
    • Begin visiting, calling and emailing committee members to determine their position on the bill. Encourage others to do the same.
  • How to be Effective
    • On the day of committee hearing:
    • Attend the meeting – on each legislative day, the website shows where the meetings will be held at the time. You can also view the proceedings live or watch archived video later.
  • How to be Effective
    • Select several members of your group to testify in favor of the bill. Each person should focus on a different aspect.
    • Those in attendance at the committee meeting fill out cards in favor of the bill and whether or not you wish to speak.
  • How to be Effective
    • When testifying:
    • Be brief – select a few key points. If you wish, you can have a printed copy of your remarks entered into the record.
    • Be polite and respectful
    • Dress appropriately
  • How to be Effective
    • If the bill passes out of committee:
    • Begin having group members contact the entire legislative body (House or Senate). Email and phone calls are effective.
    • The author generally has some idea as to when the bill will be up for debate on the floor.
  • How to be Effective
    • If you wish to communicate to a legislator while he/she is on the floor, you will have to fill out a floor note.
    • You can find a seating chart for both houses located on the legislative website.
  • How to be Effective
    • You can use the floor note to simply write to the legislator, or you can ask to speak with him or her.
    • Again, always be polite and respectful.
    • You give the floor note to the sergeant-at-arms near the door. Only have one floor note out a time if you are waiting speak with a legislator.
  • How to be Effective
    • House Floor Note
  • How to be Effective
    • Senate Floor Note
  • How to be Effective
    • It is always a good idea to thank those legislators who supported you on your issue. You can do this in person or by phone or email.
  • More information
    • List other training sessions.
    • List books, articles, and online sources.
    • List consulting services and other sources.