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January 21, 2009


STATE LEGISLATURE BACK IN SESSION

 How to contact your legislators

A recent article in the Atlanta Journal caught our attention.  This is well written and informative and let’s you know how to keep in touch with legislators and legislation.  We have copied the basic information from the article, but for the entire article see the link below.

Atlanta Journal, Wednesday, January 07, 2009
http://www.ajc.com/services/content/metro/stories/2009/01/07/georgia_legislature_guide.html?cxtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=13

How to contact your legislators:

Online:
www.legis.state.ga.us
The General Assembly’s home page links to House and Senate members by name and by district. The directory lists the legislator’s office phone and e-mail. Some legislators also list home address and phone.

The White Book: Has photographs and bios of all 236 legislators. Download a copy from www.legis.state.ga.us (click on “picture book” at the bottom of the page).

Who are my legislators?

Use the Secretary of State’s poll locator service to learn your House and Senate districts and who represents you: www.sos.state.ga.us/cgi-bin/Locator.asp.

How to track bills:

In person: Find copies of bills in the House clerk’s office (Room 309) and the secretary of the Senate’s office (Room 353). Each has a desk where you can request a bill. Committee hearing notices are posted daily on a bulletin board outside both offices. House clerk’s office: 404-656-5015; secretary of the Senate’s office: 404-656-5040.

Online: Go to www.legis.state.ga.us and click on the “legislation” icon under either the House or the Senate, depending on where the bill you are tracking originated. This allows you to view the bill in its entirety, track it through committees and see roll call votes.

How to watch the action:

Business begins most days in the House and Senate chambers at 10 a.m., but legislators often arrive before that time. If you want to catch a legislator before the day’s session, try waiting at the velvet ropes outside the chamber. Each chamber also has a gallery on the fourth floor of the Capitol overlooking the floor. The hallways on the third floor have TV monitors that carry live feeds from the House and Senate. You will have to jockey with the lobbyists crowding the hallways for a good spot.

The live video feeds are also available online at www.legis.state.ga.us.

How to follow the money:

At the State Ethics Commission’s Web site — ethics.ga.gov — click on “report search” to see campaign finance disclosures, lobbyist disclosure reports and lawmakers’ personal finance disclosures. You can also request hard copies at the commission’s offices in the James H. “Sloppy” Floyd Building. Call 404-463-1980 or 1-866-589-7327 for information.

How to speak at hearings:

The real work on bills is done in committees, and that’s the place to weigh in on them. Contact committee members by phone, mail or e-mail to make your voice heard. Speaking in person before a committee, though, is one of the most effective ways to reach legislators. The experience can be a little daunting, but legislators sometimes appreciate hearing from the little guy. Most committees have a sign-up sheet for speakers. Try to keep your remarks short and to the point.

Jasper County Legislators are:

Senator Johnny Grant                          johnny.grant@senate.ga.gov

Representative Jim Cole                      jmalcolmcole@hotmail.com


TWG
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