Legislative Agenda In Works for 1999-2000

NOVEMBER 1998 - Lobbying Team Ready For New Session - Just
as the 1997-98 Legislative session winds down, our Association’s
legislative team is gearing up for the new session set to convene in
January.

Any
legislation that the Association wishes to file for the 1999-2000
Legislative session must be submitted to the House or Senate Clerk no
later than December 2, 1998. Along with drafting the prospective
legislation, Association lobbyists will be meeting with legislative
leaders to seek sponsorship of the bills.

“Every
bill we file needs to be properly drafted and have a legislator as its
sponsor,” said Association Legislative Chairman Bill Hill. “We will be
meeting with various Reps. and Senators throughout November to gather
sponsors. Sponsorship is very important to the future success of the
bill.”

Drafting Process Underway

The
drafting of the Association’s legislative package is a process that
evolves over the course of many months. Association officers, who have
gathered input from members, sit down with General Counsel Bill Rehrey,
who drafts the legislation.

Under
rules that were adopted by the legislature in 1995, the session runs
concurrent with the legislators’ two-year term of office. This has
proved to be a tremendous benefit to the Association over the past two
sessions. Several key pieces of legislation have been approved during
the second year of the session.

Historically,
the Association is not known for the volume of bills it submits for
legislative consideration. During a typical session, the Association
files no more than a dozen bills. Frivolous bills or those affecting an
individual member are generally not filed as part of the package.

“Some
members get very angry because we will not file a bill that affects
just them. Others feel we should become involved in bills supporting
social causes,” added Hill. “We have to look out for the membership as
a whole. No one member is any more important than another, regardless
of what job they held.

“I think our
track record over the years speaks for itself. It destroys our
credibility if we file frivolous bills that have no chance of ever
passing. Sure we want the best for our members, but we have to look at
things realistically.”

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