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Be the Change You Wish to Seek Advocacy and You
Advocacy and You What is advocacy? Working to make change in public policy, laws, and funding. We engage in advocacy within the system and from outside Advocacy includes registering to vote and voting, working on campaigns, testifying at public hearings, talking to legislators and other public officials, and taking it to the streets, running for office, stay informed – reading the paper, watching and listening to news programs Connect with advocacy organizations
Advocacy and You Why do it? Change only happens when WE make it happen. You are the best person to tell your story. It makes a difference. YOU make a difference! “Your playing small doesn't serve the world. ” President Nelson Mandela
Advocacy and You Why else do we do it? To dispel myths… …and fight ignorance.
Advocacy and You Facts About the CT General Assembly (GA) The Schedule The GA is part time. It is in session for five months (long session) in the odd numbered years and three months (short session) in even numbered years. 2009 The session began on January 7 th and ends on June 3 rd
Advocacy and You Being a legislator is a part-time job. Most legislators have other jobs. First, you should remember that we have a small state and a large GA. These legislators are your neighbors. Once you have met your representatives, you will likely run into them in the supermarket and at the post office.
Advocacy and You Membership There are 151 House of Representative Members and 36 Senators in the GA. Democrats currently control the House and the Senate. The Governor, M Jodi Rell, is a Republican. The Lt. Governor is Mike Fedele. The Lt. Governor serves as the President of the Senate, meaning he presides over the Senate, but only votes if there is a tie.
Advocacy and You The highest-ranking member of the Senate is the President Pro Tempore, Don Williams, a Democrat. He is elected by the membership of the Senate. The House of Representatives is presided over by the Speaker of the House, who is Chris Donovan, a Democrat. He is a member of the House and elected by the House members.
Advocacy and You Committees The GA has joint committees with members from both the House and the Senate. Each Committee has a House and a Senate Chair. The number of Senators and Representatives assigned to each Committee is proportional by party and by house. Unlike Congress, members of the GA do not have a lot of staff. They also do not receive a lot of phone calls or mail on most issues.
Advocacy and You How A Bill Becomes A Law In Connecticut 1. Proposed Bill - Ideas for bills come from lawmakers and constituents like you! 2. Bill Numbering - Bill title, number and sponsors printed in House & Senate Journals 3. Sent to Committee - Bill sent to appropriate joint standing committee. The committee holds public hearings. The committee may report the bill favorably, defeat the bill or issue no report. Bills requiring action by another committee are referred to that committee. 4. Legislative Commissioners' Office - bill is sent to the LCO to be checked for constitutionality and consistency with other laws. 5. Office of Fiscal Analysis - This office adds an estimate of the bill's cost.
Advocacy and You How A Bill Becomes A Law In Connecticut 6. Calendar - The clerk assigns a calendar number and it then goes off for final printing. 7. On the Floor - Lawmakers debate and draft amendments. The house may send the bill to another committee before voting. A "yes" vote sends the bill to the other house for placement on the voting calendar. The bill is then returned to the first house for concurrence if amended by the second house. 8. To the Governor - If not amended, the bill is sent to the governor. If The House and Senate cannot agree, the bill is sent to a joint conference committee. If the committee reaches an agreement, a report is sent to both houses. If one or both houses reject the changes, the bill fails. If both houses pass the bill, it is sent to the governor.
Advocacy and You The governor can: 1. ) sign the bill; 2. ) veto the bill, or; 3. ) take no action. If the governor vetoes, the bill is returned to the house in which it originated. Vetoed bills can be reconsidered by both houses. The bill becomes law if: 1. ) the governor signs it; 2. ) the governor fails to sign it within 5 days during legislative session or 15 days after adjournment from the day it was presented to him; 3. ) the vetoed bill is repassed in each house by a 2/3 vote of the elected membership.
Advocacy and You Legislators want and expect to hear from you. The best ways to have an impact on them are… Meet with them at the Capitol or in-district (invite them to your program) Phone call; or Email Mail
Advocacy and You The AIDS LIFE Campaign Past successes: Increasing funding for AIDS housing Restoring cuts to syringe exchange Increase funding for HIV prevention Funds to address loss of Ryan White funding
Advocacy and You AIDS LIFE Campaign 2010 Agenda • Protect all HIV/AIDS Funding • Healthy Teens Act • Overdose Prevention Bill
Advocacy and You Making a Difference - What you can do! AIDS LIFE Campaign (Legislative Initiative and Funding Effort). Meets 4 th Tuesday, 12 – 2 Congregational Church in Meriden
Advocacy and You Making a Difference - What you can do! ♣ Send letters you write to legislators to the editor ♣ Participate AIDS Awareness Day ♣ Sign up for and respond to advocacy alerts ♣ Talk to your friends and families about getting involved.
Advocacy and You For more information or to get involved: Shawn M. Lang – CARC 860. 761. 6699 [email protected] org