In Maryland the legislative session runs January to April so the fall is the time for businesses and organizations to prepare. State policy can critically impact businesses of all sizes, non-profits and even entire industries. Navigating the General Assembly can be complicated, and implementing policy change takes time and a well-prepared strategy.
Here are five key steps that should be part of a strategy to successfully pass legislation:
- Support from the Executive Branch
Prior to introducing legislation, it is important to discuss it with the Executive Branch agency tasked with the implementation of the legislation. Meet with State agency personnel before introducing legislation in the event they have ideas on how to improve the bill. Even if the agency doesn’t agree with the legislation, it is one of the first things the legislature will ask. They want to know if it has been vetted with the experts.
- Financial Impact
Legislation can come with a price so it is necessary to outline any potential costs to the state associated with the legislation should it pass. Often times, legislation meets an early demise because of fiscal constraints. Seeking an approach without costs or significantly mitigated costs is vital.
- Legislative Committee
Identifying the right sponsor is critical. Consider the committees on which the possible sponsor serves. It can be easier to pass legislation with a sponsor from the committee of jurisdiction.
Passing legislation takes more than one sponsor – multiple voices advocating in defense of the bill. Obtaining the proper co-sponsors to a bill can be critical to strike the correct balance of support.
Most of the time legislation should be cross-filed and introduced in both chambers, but on rare occasions, it makes sense to only introduce a bill in one chamber.
A lobbyist can help your business or organization address legislative policy change and manage government affairs. Our team at Old Line Government Affairs has more than 75 years combined experience in state and local government affairs with balanced political affiliations. Click here to learn more about our team.
To learn more about the legislative process and how Old Line Government Affairs can help your business or organization develop strategies to successfully implement new policy, contact us or visit our web site.