Tennessee Legislature and Advocacy 101
The Women’s Fund released our 2018 Legislative Priorities list on February 12, but what happens now?
If you are new to the idea of engaging with and about legislation at the state level, we hope to share the resources you need to better understand the Tennessee State Legislature and how to track bills and issues as they move through the legislature.
More about the Tennessee State Legislature
We are currently in the 110th General Assembly. The 2017 session of the 110th General Assembly adjourned on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The General Assembly reconvened at 12:00 noon (CST) on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. The deadline for introducing and filing bills was Thursday, February 1st. Now bills are making their way through committees before they can be voted on by the House and Senate. In fact, some measures have already made it to vote this session. (Action can’t wait!)
Who is your State Senator and Representative?
You can find out here: http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/Apps/fmlv3/districts.aspx
Remembering SchoolHouse Rock
If you were in grade school in the 80’s or early 90’s, you may remember the Schoolhouse Rock episode, “How a Bill becomes a Law.” While that video discusses the process at the Federal level, each state’s legislature works a bit differently.
For a quick rundown on how a bill becomes a law in Tennessee you can click here: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/about/billtolaw.html
It’s not a fun as Schoolhouse Rock, but it does give you all the details.
Tracking Bills and Following Issues
You can track bills of interest by going to: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/legislation/ All you have to do is enter the bill number that you want to follow. You can also search for keywords or bill sponsors.
You can even create your own account to easily track multiple bills each session: http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/Apps/MyBills/Login.aspx
Here’s an easy tutorial of how to use the Tennessee Legislative website to track bills:
Don’t want to track bills? No worries, the Women’s Fund has you covered. We’ll be tracking our priority bills and letting members of our Advocacy Action Network know when it’s time to take action by contacting their representatives about a bill moving through committee or going to vote in either the House or the Senate.
So you just can’t get enough of this?
You can also watch videos of House and Senate Committee Meetings: http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/livevideo/
Want to learn more?
Join us on February 22nd at 11:30 a.m. for our Advocacy Committee Meeting at Miller & Martin (832 Georgia Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37402) in the 12th Floor Conference Room. We will be discussing our 2017 Legislative Priority List in more detail and will be taking action advocating for bills that can and will have a real impact on the lives of women and girls in Tennessee.
Don’t forget to sign up for our Advocacy Action Team to be among the first to know when important issues arise and how to take action.
Together we can and will move Tennessee from 49 to One!
Katie McCallie, Programs and Operations Manager