By Anne Hedges
We’ve passed transmittal, which means Senate and House bills are moving through the second chamber. You’ll have more opportunities to comment on bills that made it through the first half. In addition, there will be revenue bills and Constitutional referenda coming forward in droves that will need your attention.
During the second half, we encourage you to make more phone calls to heighten the impact of your comments. You can leave a message for a Committee or up to 10 legislators at a time at the Legislative Services desk between 7:30 am and 5 pm. It can be tough to get through, but keep trying if you can: 406-444-4800.
You can also find your legislators’ phone numbers on the Legislator Roster: www.leg.mt.gov/legislator-information/roster
If you call Legislative Services, you are likely to get a receptionist who will take your message. You’re also likely to get a legislator’s voicemail if you use the legislative roster. If you talk to a legislator or they call back, address them as Senator or Representative.
Don’t know what to say? Follow our handy script:
- Please be respectful and keep your message short.
- Say your name and where you are from.
- Provide a bill number and a very brief description.
- Be brief, honest, explicit, and courteous.
- Try to provide a personal perspective.
- Don’t overstate your case and always admit it if you don’t know an answer.
- Thank them for their time.
- Follow up with any information you promise to provide.
In addition, consider getting your community more involved. Reach out to your local government and ask them to stand up against bills that restrict local control, such as SB 228 and SB 208 (see article on pg. 8). Submit letters to the editor to your local paper, and forward our weekly 3 Things You Can Do email to your friends and family.
We had great momentum during the first half. Let’s keep it up!
This article was published in the March 2023 issue of Down To Earth.