Originally Posted By: jedwards
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.
Josh and Kevin, I humbly suggest the following (assuming that the IN legislature is similar to SC in structure and procedure):
Find out everything you can about the proposed legislation-- bill number, specific language, sponsor(s), when introduced, and to what committee is was referred. Also the bill's history and current status re. number of readings, committee meetings and votes, etc. (how close it's getting to passage). You should be able to get most of this info online. If you want to campaign effectively against the legislation, you need to know it like the back of your hand.
Within the committee to which the bill is assigned, identify those members who have been the most outspoken about the need to reduce the size of government, reduce over-regulation of small business, disempower the special interests, and so on. Higher-ranking members should be your priority, but all of them matter.
Write letters to those members (real, old-fashioned letters, on real paper in real envelopes with real stamps-- NOT emails) outlining the specifics of the legislation and its potential impact on the home inspection industry in your state (which consists almost entirely of small businesses). Identify the "special interests" you suspect of originating the bill, and what they stand to gain, and what everyone else involved stands to lose, if the bill becomes law. Follow up with a phone call and try to set up a meeting. Follow the committee's meeting schedule and if you see the bill as an agenda item, try to get yourself on the agenda as a speaker. Get as many of your like-minded colleagues as possible to attend. If the bill has passed or passes the originating body (House or Senate), focus your efforts on the other. Consider any legislator who responds sympathetically as an ally and potential "sponsor" of your cause, and take advantage of their interest.
In all of your communications to legislators, try to take the high road-- state your case in positive terms as to why the legislation is not in the best interests of small business development in your state. Try not to over-demonize the other side. Bear in mind that aside from the bill's sponsor(s), most legislators will know MUCH less about the issue than you do, so think in terms of helping to educate them. For the most part, they'll appreciate and respond positively to that approach.
I hope this helps a little. Good luck to us all.
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