What can I do to impact legislation? You can call, email, write or meet with elected officials, draft letters to the editor or op ed pieces, blog or send information to your e-lists or phone trees to mobilize others to contacted elected officials. You can tell groups and other activists you are affiliated to try to grow a coalition to do the same thing. You can ask legislators to vote yes / no and tell them why and you can shape public opinion by getting education, information out to the press, blogs, or both. You can share research or expertise or prepare a fact sheet to on why to support or oppose a bill.
How do I know what bills are pending before the legislature? There is a grid for tracking all introduced bills to know where they are in the process called a Status Sheet which is updated daily. Go to http://www.leg.state.co.us/ and click on Status.
How do I know when a bill will be heard in hearing or scheduled for a floor vote? There is a calendar for the House and for the Senate which is updated daily during session. Go to http://www.leg.state.co.us/ and click on Calendar.
How can I observe or monitor actual legislative proceedings? You can go to the capitol in person. All are welcome. You can listen to audio broadcast by going to http://www.leg.state.co.us/ and clicking on Audio Broadcast. To stream live proceedings from the House floor or watch archived videos, you can go to http://www.coloradochannel.net/ and click on LIVE STREAM or ARCHIVED.
When is the best time to weigh in on legislation? The earlier the better. If you can weigh in prior to introduction of a bill that has the best window for impact. Otherwise, try to weigh in prior to committee hearing, if possible. If you miss that window you can weigh in at hearing on the floor or as it heads to the 2nd chamber.
HB 17-1011 to establish a 7 year statute of Limitations for DORA complaints against mental health professionals was sent to the Governor by the Senate and was signed last month. Thank you to all the CAP members who contacted their legislators. Several Legislative Committee members said they heard your voice in the calls and emails to them.