Tracking state and federal legislation can be an overwhelming task, but with the right tools and approach, it can be manageable. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to track state and federal legislation:
Step 1: Determine the Issues of Interest Before You Begin Tracking Legislation
You need to determine the issues that are of interest to you or your organization. This will help you narrow down the bills you need to track, making the process more manageable.
Step 2: Identify the Relevant Committees
Once you've identified the issues of interest, you need to determine which committees are relevant to those issues. In Congress, bills typically go through one or more committees before they are sent to the full House or Senate. Similarly, in state legislatures, bills are typically assigned to a committee for review before they are considered by the full legislative body. By identifying the relevant committees, you can focus your attention on those bills that are most likely to move forward.
Step 3: Identify the Bill Numbers
Once you've identified the relevant committees, you need to identify the bill numbers of the legislation you want to track. In Congress, bills are assigned a number (e.g. H.R. 1234 or S. 5678) that indicates the chamber of origin (House or Senate) and the bill number. In state legislatures, bills are also assigned numbers that vary by state.
Step 4: Set up Alerts or Notifications
To stay informed about the progress of the bills you're tracking, you should set up alerts or notifications. There are many tools that can help you do this, including legislative tracking services, which will send you emails or text messages when there are updates to the bills you're tracking.
Step 5: Monitor the Progress of the Bills Once You've Set Up Alerts or Notifications
You need to monitor the progress of the bills you're tracking. This includes keeping tabs on committee hearings, markups, and votes, as well as any amendments or changes to the bills.
Step 6: Engage with Legislators
Finally, if you want to have an impact on the legislation, you should consider engaging with legislators. This could include writing letters or emails, making phone calls, or meeting with legislators or their staff to discuss your concerns or support for the bills.
By following these steps, you can stay informed and engaged in the legislative process at both the state and federal levels.
There are several free systems available to track state and federal legislation. Here are some options:
- GovTrack.us : This website provides free tracking of federal legislation. It offers a variety of tools to help users keep tabs on bills and lawmakers, including email alerts, RSS feeds, and bill tracking.
- OpenStates.org This website provides free tracking of state-level legislation. It provides information on state legislators, committee hearings, and bills that are being debated in state legislatures.
- LegiScan.com : This website provides free tracking of both state and federal legislation. It offers email alerts, bill tracking, and a variety of other tools to help users stay informed about the legislative process.
- Congress.gov : This is the official website of the U.S. Congress, and it provides free tracking of federal legislation. It offers email alerts, bill tracking, and other tools to help users stay informed about the legislative process.
All of these options provide free tracking of state and/or federal legislation, and each has its own features and benefits. You may want to explore each option to determine which one best fits your needs. You may also utilize the ACA Take Action page to track legislation of your choice.