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We are a non-profit state federation. Our membership includes women and men of every age, race, religion, political party and socio-economic background. We are a leading advocate on work-life balance and workplace equity issues.

In this section, you will read recent news releases and advocacy concerns as well as view our opinion editorials and letters to the editor. Members of the press who are writing about issues of concern to working women are encouraged to contact our Communications Committee at [email protected].

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Effective Advocacy: Communicating with your State Legislator

Effective Advocacy: Communicating with your State Legislator

by Amy Kellogg

Author: Communications Committee/Friday, December 27, 2019/Categories: General

In 2015, then-immediate past president of NYS Women, Inc., Amy Kellogg, gave a presentation on effective political advocacy at that year’s spring board in April at the Griffiss Institute in Rome. Here are the highlights; and take special notice of the dates the legislature is in session. Advocating for an issue when your legislator isn’t in Albany, isn’t a good use of your time!

What is effective advocacy?

To be an effective advocate:

• You must understand the process

• Know who your state legislator is

• Know your issue

• Know what you are asking for

Understand the process.

There are three parts to the legislative process.

• The Legislative Branch

• How a Bill Becomes a Law

• Taking Action

The Legislative Branch

The New York State Legislature

• Two-house legislature

• 213 members in Senate and Assembly

• All legislators serve 2-year terms (both assemblymen and senators)

The Assembly

• 150 members

• Currently, Democrats control with a 106-43 majority with one Independent

• The Majority Leader of the Assembly is Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, Buffalo

The Senate

• 63 members

• Currently, Democrats have the majority with 40 members

• There is a one-seat vacancy in the Republican minority

• The leader of the Senate is the Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, NYC

How the legislative process works

• Session begins in January with the Governor’s State of the State Address.

• The Legislative cycle runs for two years and contains two sessions.

• The Governor must submit a proposed Budget by the end of January.

• The budget is due by April 1. The budget must be done every year.

• Once the budget is complete then non-money issues addressed until adjournment.

• Session traditionally concludes by the end of June with special session later in the year if there is urgent business.

How a bill becomes a law

12 steps for a bill to become a law in New York State

1. The Idea

2. Sponsorship

3. Bill Drafting

4. Introduction

5. Committee Actions

6. Revision

7. Assembly Ways & Means and Senate Finance

8. Rules Committee

9. Floor Vote

10. The Governor

11. Veto

12. A Bill Becomes a Law

Key points

There is a low success rate for bills passing both houses.

• During this 2019-2020 legislative session – which ends in December 2020 – 490 bills have been signed into law so far.

• In order for a bill to become law in New York, the bill must pass the Senate and the Assembly in the exact same version. If even one word is different, the bill cannot become law.



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