Friday, January 20, 2012

MS Legislature 101

Contacting Legislators 
The Number 1, best way to communicate with a legislator is to meet him/her IN PERSON.  If that is a little intimidating, you can always go with a MS Friends of Midwives Board Member.  We have "Capitol Days" regularly during the legislative session.

Second best - Mail a HANDWRITTEN letter to their attention at:
   P. O. Box 1018
   Jackson, MS 39215 

Lastly is email/facebook message/phone call - Personal and brief emails make a better impact more than mass emails.  Capitol switchboard, just ask for the legislator you are calling for.  They may transfer you or take a message.  (601) 359-3770
Click here to find your personal legislator

Who to contact and when
Contacting the Representative and Senator that represent you is a good place to start.  However, there are many other legislators that play and important role and need to hear from you.  Click here to see how a bill becomes a law

In 2012 we have the bill being introduced in both the House of Representatives and Senate simultaneously.  The bill is assigned to the Public Health and Human Services Committee in the House and the Public Health and Welfare Committee in the Senate.  The Chairmen and members of these committees hold a lot of power.  The Chairman will decide IF the bill will be discussed at all.  If brought up for discussion, the committee will vote on whether or not the bill will be sent to the entire House/Senate for a vote.  Changes can (and most likely will) be made in the committee and again when before the entire house.

So, it is important the the Chairman of each committee is contacted by YOU to let him know you care about this bill and want it passed.
Here is the contact info for the committee members.

What to say
Speak honestly from your heart.  Tell them that you support the "Midwife Standards Act" and why.  They won't really expect you to know the details, but if they ask something you don't know the answer to, don't be afraid to say you don't know.  Your opinion is still very important.  MS Friends of Midwives is at the capitol enough that the legislators know they can come to us for answers or to discuss concerns.

Click here to learn a few of the "talking points" that seem to come up regularly with the legislators.


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