Season for lobbyists at Legislature begins


After Labor Day for many people means the end of the summer easiness.  Back to the grind of work.  One place for sure where the “grind” starts is at the Minnesota Legislature.

Between now and the end of November when the grind slows down again because of the Holiday season, hundreds of lobbyists, interest groups, and many public and private associations will be visiting your state legislator and other members of the state legislature.

The visitors will be asking Chairpersons of various policy committees to be the Chief Author of their bill.  They may ask your legislator to sponsor a bill that concerns the area in which the elected official and you live in.  The interest group representative may go to a legislator because of the employment and background the elected person may have.  A number of reasons.

This is the time of year is when the legislator starts to think seriously of the bills he/she wants to introduce.  I have heard many times from elected officials when I ask them about legislation–“wait” until after Labor Day because they are back in their districts and rarely come to St Paul until after Labor Day. 

When the special interest representative meets with the legislator who you elected wants to discuss an idea for a bill and get their Chief Authorship, there are basically two ways of how the bill will be directed.  The interested party/lobbyist being the conductor or the Chief Author working and leading in concert with the interested party.  Most times a bill is created the concert way, but once in a while the conductor is the interested party/lobbyist.

Now is the most impelling time for you to meet with your legislators, when you can have an in depth conversation on issues that impact your community, district, and state.  You will be competing with others, but you are their constituent.  Time can and will be made for you

Ask your legislator—-What are you thinking of introducing this year for the district?  Are you introducing any bills for any interest groups or associations?  I have an idea for a bill–Can I work with you on it?

A legislator’s book fills up very fast with bills of legislation they will introduce.  You want to make sure you and others from the district are heard loud and clear.

To get on your way, the Minnesota Legislature has a great tool to find out who your Representatives and Senators are.