Why Do You Need Access to Legislation in All 50 States?

June 27, 2013 by Crescerance

When you are a lobbyist focused on the issues in one state, the tendency is to focus only on bills that are introduced in your state; however, the truth is that legislation travels from state to state across the country. Take for example the Texas law that allowed people to carry concealed weapons in public places and on school campuses. The originators of the legislation had a plan to move this legislation into all 50 states, and Texas was to be the starting point. From Texas it appeared in a slightly different form in Indiana and again in a couple of other states. Another example would be the immigration laws that started in Arizona a few years ago and spread to appear in several other states the following year.

Not all state legislation is home grown, and as a lobbyist you never want to be blindsided by something that started elsewhere and ended up on your doorstep.  One tool that can help you stay on top of legislation is your legislative tracking software. If you are working with a state system that only processes one state’s data, then you may not have access to legislation in all the other states. This might be a reason to check out legislative tracking systems that can deliver you everything you need for your state, but have a portal to legislation in all 50 states.

Doing some simple math, states publish some 500 bills, like Wyoming, and up to as many as 16,000 pieces of legislation in the state of New York. In total, all 50 states publish around 145,000 pieces of legislation each year while the federal government adds another 9,000 to 10,000 bills. Your legislative tracking system needs to include search tools to enable you to specify terms you are looking for and limit the search to specific states to help you find what you need. Without the ability to filter, you will end up with very long lists that may make it very hard to find what you are looking for. Also, titles of bills often do not reflect the content of the bill, so you need to be able to read the bill text and not just the title.

Capitol Impact knows how important access to other states and federal legislation is. You don’t need it all the time, but when you need it you need it fast. That is why our legislative tracking system includes access to legislation in all 50 states with a search tool to help you filter down to the details you need. At Capitol Impact, we try to make the job of the lobbyist a bit easier!