How to be effective at Louisiana legislature


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  • * 07/16/96 * ##
  • How to be effective at Louisiana legislature

    1. 1. Louisiana State Legislature How to be successful in the Legislative Process
    2. 2. Overview <ul><li>The Legislative Branch </li></ul><ul><li>How a bill becomes law </li></ul><ul><li>How to be effective in the process </li></ul>
    3. 3. The Legislative Branch <ul><li>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. </li></ul>
    4. 4. The Legislative Branch <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Even numbered – unlimited bills, no taxes </li></ul><ul><li>Odd numbered – limited to fiscal matters + 5 non-fiscal bills per lege </li></ul>
    5. 5. How a Bill Becomes Law <ul><li>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). </li></ul><ul><li>Each bill is introduced into its respective house and referred to a committee by the presiding officer. </li></ul>
    6. 6. How a Bill Becomes Law <ul><li>Both the Senate and House have standing committees that meet during legislative sessions to consider and report on proposed legislation. </li></ul><ul><li>To see a list of committees, go to legislative website and click on either House or Senate on top menu. </li></ul>
    7. 7. How a Bill Becomes Law <ul><li>Committees meet generally on a weekly basis. Some committees meet two days per week. </li></ul><ul><li>Committee schedules are generally posted 24 hours prior to the meeting. </li></ul><ul><li>The legislative website will show when a bill is to be heard in committee. </li></ul>
    8. 8. How a Bill Becomes Law <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes a bill will be scheduled for a committee hearing and the author will request that the bill be heard at a later date. </li></ul>
    9. 9. How a Bill Becomes Law <ul><li>Amendments can be added to the bill and sometimes, a whole new bill is substituted. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
    10. 10. How a Bill Becomes Law <ul><li>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. </li></ul>
    11. 11. How a Bill Becomes Law <ul><li>If the bill passes, it goes to the opposite house and the process starts again. </li></ul><ul><li>If there are no changes to the bill by the opposite house, the bill is sent to the Governor. </li></ul>
    12. 12. How a Bill Becomes Law <ul><li>If there are changes, and the originating house does not accept the changes – conference committee. </li></ul><ul><li>If both houses accept conference committee report – goes to the Governor. If not, the bill fails. </li></ul><ul><li>Governor can sign, veto, or allow to go into law without signature. </li></ul>
    13. 13. How to be Effective <ul><li>Identify bills you wish to follow </li></ul><ul><li>Become familiar with Louisiana Legislative Website </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    14. 14. How to be Effective
    15. 15. How to be Effective
    16. 16. How to be Effective <ul><li>Lobbying for passage of your bill: </li></ul><ul><li>Develop talking points on your bill – why a legislator should be in favor of it. </li></ul><ul><li>Begin visiting, calling and emailing committee members to determine their position on the bill. Encourage others to do the same. </li></ul>
    17. 17. How to be Effective <ul><li>On the day of committee hearing: </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
    18. 18. How to be Effective <ul><li>Select several members of your group to testify in favor of the bill. Each person should focus on a different aspect. </li></ul><ul><li>Those in attendance at the committee meeting fill out cards in favor of the bill and whether or not you wish to speak. </li></ul>
    19. 19. How to be Effective <ul><li>When testifying: </li></ul><ul><li>Be brief – select a few key points. If you wish, you can have a printed copy of your remarks entered into the record. </li></ul><ul><li>Be polite and respectful </li></ul><ul><li>Dress appropriately </li></ul>
    20. 20. How to be Effective <ul><li>If the bill passes out of committee: </li></ul><ul><li>Begin having group members contact the entire legislative body (House or Senate). Email and phone calls are effective. </li></ul><ul><li>The author generally has some idea as to when the bill will be up for debate on the floor. </li></ul>
    21. 21. How to be Effective <ul><li>If you wish to communicate to a legislator while he/she is on the floor, you will have to fill out a floor note. </li></ul><ul><li>You can find a seating chart for both houses located on the legislative website. </li></ul>
    22. 22. How to be Effective <ul><li>You can use the floor note to simply write to the legislator, or you can ask to speak with him or her. </li></ul><ul><li>Again, always be polite and respectful. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
    23. 23. How to be Effective <ul><li>House Floor Note </li></ul>
    24. 24. How to be Effective <ul><li>Senate Floor Note </li></ul>
    25. 25. How to be Effective <ul><li>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. </li></ul>
    26. 26. More information <ul><li>List other training sessions. </li></ul><ul><li>List books, articles, and online sources. </li></ul><ul><li>List consulting services and other sources. </li></ul>