Monday, January 7, 2013

How to help CASAA fight against anti-THR Legislation

CASAA often is asked by members, "How can I help fight against bans?" At a recent CASAA Member Meeting, Membership Director Ron Ward put together a Power Point presentation outlining ways to follow and report legislation activities in your state.

Below are the highlights from the presentation.


Know the legislative process in your state.

State Legislative Searches- Where to Start

http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/State_legislative_sessions

Ballotpedia-list of state legislative info including:
(1) Links to state constitutions
(2) special sessions
(3) start and end dates
(4) years in session (odd-even, 1 or 2 years)
(5) synopses of previous sessions and special sessions
(6) session highlights

For my home state (Maryland,) this section is very helpful in that it gives you a one page overview of the entire legislative process in MD:
http://dls.state.md.us/data/libandinfser/libandinfser_docandpub/Legislative-Process.pdf
There should be a similar section in your home state legislature’s website.

Other Examples:

Department of Legislative Services
http://dls.state.md.us/Default.aspx

Contact information for administrative offices of certain committees ( Health, etc., Ways and Means (tax bills), Full house, Full senate, Rules, etc.)
http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmmain.aspx?pid=legisrpage&tab=subject6

Department of Legislative Services
http://dls.state.md.us/Default.aspx

Link to legislative bill search on state legislature website

MD legislation search engine
http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmLegislation.aspx?pid=legisnpage&tab=subject3

Status of all MD Senate Bills
http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/Pubs-Current/Current-Senate-Status-Report.pdf

Status of all MD House Bills
http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/Pubs-Current/Current-House-Status-Report.pdf

MD legislative tracking service
http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmTrackingMain.aspx?pid=trackpage


Post the information on the casaaforum in the “Legislation by Location” section  
http://forum.casaa.org/viewforum.php?f=34

When the Fight is ON in YOUR State

Once legislation is actually introduced and identified as relevant (please contact us CASAA immediately for assistance and verification), you should gather:

(1)  Contact information for administrative office for committee or full body
(2) Contact information for relevant legislators
http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmmain.aspx?pid=legisrpage&tab=subject6

CASAA regional reps and members should attempt to locate local consumers and vendors through:
(1)  CASAA- we possess a limited database of members by geographical location and a list of vendors by area
(2)  Forums
(3) Facebook, Twitter, etc.
(4) Vaping networks and shows
(5) Local vaping groups and clubs

Work actively with the CASAA board to:
(1)  Monitor the legislation
(2)  contact politicians, staff, legislative aids, etc.
(3)  encourage letter writing and phone calls from other people in the areas (and abroad)
(4)  help to mobilize a group of activists to personally attend the public hearings.

Please consider becoming more involved in the fight for the approval for tobacco harm reduction science and policies. The more people CASAA has to watch out for legislation and ordinances, the more effective CASAA is at ensuring that smokeless, low-risk alternatives remain available, affordable and effective!

If you would like to become a Regional Representative, you can find out more and register at: http://casaa.org/Regional_Rep_Form.html

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