Advocacy Process for Legislative Session
I. Identify Legislative Priorities
a. Based on membership input and the current legislative climate, i.e the popularity/momentum of various topics. Certain topics and bills may be identified “dead on arrival” by congressional leadership. Supporting such bills can potentially damage our relationship with congressional membership and damage our ability to advocate effectively. Conversely, some issues gain momentum and have strong support in a given year. Putting additional resources into this issue will have a greater impact.
II. Bill selection– Immediately before and during the legislative session for Hawaii, which runs from the end of January to the beginning of May, our legislative committee identifies proposed bills relevant to our legislative priorities.
III. Bill prioritization
a. From our selected list of measures the committee identifies those most relevant to emergency physicians and our patients. We then assign each of these bills a priority number based on level of importance as follows:
i. Top Priority- Bills in this category will receive significant attention from the committee in the form of written and oral testimony, meeting with legislators, updates to members, and call to action.
ii. High Priority- The committee will offer written and oral testimony on the bill.
iii. Priority- The committee will offer written testimony on the bill.
iv. Tracking- The committee will track this bill as it moves through the legislative process and consider increasing the priority depending on member interest.
b. The priority of bills may change depending on how they progress through the legislature and feedback we receive from members and outside organizations.
a. Testimony can be written or oral. Written testimony must be submitted by the deadline, usually 48 hours prior to a bill being heard in committee. Oral testimony is given during the hearing. Focusing on patients, particularly patient stories, and sound evidence provides the best testimony.