Citizen Action Page for the 2019 Texas Legislative Session
Do your research
- Learn about the bills: FARFA has 10 priority bills to support local farmers and food producers. Check out a brief summary of all the bills here (updated 3-9-19).
- Find out who represents you on the Texas legislative website. Remember that you want to identify your State Representative and Senator, not your U.S. Rep or Senators – these are all state bills.
- Pick the 1, 2 or 3 bills that matter the most to you to focus on. You can get fact sheets for each filed bill here. Use the fact sheets both to educate yourself and the legislators.
- Call your State Rep and Senator. You can set up an in-person meeting, or simply talk to the staff on the phone. Calls are more effective than emails – even if you only talk for a couple of minutes!
- Check out our tips for meetings, which are helpful for both in-person meetings and phone calls.
- Send the staffer a thank you note. It’s very helpful to attach the fact sheets for the specific bills you spoke about. And also send the full handout on all the bills, and ask them to support the local farms & food movement on all these issues!
- Let FARFA know if there were any questions or concerns raised. We can follow up with the staff to address them.
- Keep calling. Not every day, but check in with the staffer you spoke with as the session progresses. This lets them know how important the issue is with you, and that you will be holding your legislator accountable for how he or she votes.
Background on the Legislative Process
Each bill will be assigned to a committee, which will hold a hearing where the public will testify, both for and against the bill. If you are directly affected by any of these bills and want to testify, please email Judith@FarmAndRanchFreedom.org with your name, contact info, and a brief explanation of your interest in the bill.
If the committee votes in favor of the bill, it then goes to the Calendars Committee (in the House) or the Lieutenant Governor to be scheduled for a vote by the full chamber. Next comes the vote by the full House or Senate. Then the process begins again in the other chamber, going through committee assignment, a hearing, a committee vote, scheduling, and a floor vote. Lastly, the bill goes to the Governor to sign or veto.
One of FARFA’s jobs is to serve as an “interpreter” – gathering information at the Capitol, explaining it to our members in plain English, and identifying simple ways that you can be involved and make a difference. Keep an eye out for our email alerts, which you can share on social media, and please be sure to ask your friends to sign up for alerts as well!
Another Way You Can Help …
When the Texas Legislature is in Session, FARFA’s staff spends an tremendous amount of time working to gain passage for important bills. We also have extraordinary expenses for travel, media relations, social media promotions, and press release distribution, plus for designing and producing materials for each bill, which then get distributed to 181 legislators.
One very powerful way you can help get these bills passed is by becoming a member of FARFA. Legislators repeatedly ask us how many members we have – more members means more influence! And, of course, membership dues provide vital financial support. We are able to accomplish what we do only because of individual donations and membership dues. PLEASE consider becoming a member or making a donation today!