TIPS FOR THE LEGISLATURE

NTF worksheet: legwatch131.doc. 11-14.

NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM WORKSHEET:
TIPS FOR THE LEGISLATURE.

The 2015 Legislature is the most conservative in recent legislative history.
New and veteran conservative state senators must control the Health & Human Services, Judiciary, and Education Committees and cut spending in the 2nd & 3rd.
Spending rises, because senators want to pass many bills to show constituents that they are doing something and because senators trade votes to pass bills.
Conservative state senators must form a caucus or coalition.
They must show cohesion on objectives.
Must be frequent communication among them and set priorities.
Must work for a conservative urban/rural coalition.

New senators must beware of temptation and nepotism among legislative employees.
They should invite a veteran staffer or senator to offer an impartial review of their conduct.
Veteran senators should mentor and work with new ones.
There is an advantage to living in Lincoln, as it avoids daily commuting, especially in inclement weather, and so that a senator can socialize more with other senators.
They should recognize early who are their friends and adversaries, who they can trust and distrust.
Can have a working relationship with liberal senators even though disagreeing ideologically, because senators need support for their bills.

Groups like NTF should give conservative senators a short list of subject matter for bills, e.g., illegal immigration, tax reform.
Groups should help new conservative senators set a new, conservative direction in the Legislature and help them use their power to accomplish things.

The Executive Board determines to which committee bills go.
This committee consists of members from each congressional district.
Liberals on this board can send a conservative bill to a committee dominated by liberals, almost guaranteeing that the bill will die in committee.
75% of the permanent Legislature staff is liberal, including the Clerk of the Legislature.

Easy, non-controversial bills normally debated first, contentious bills later.
25 senators can pull a bill out of committee, if a bill is stymied by liberals, and send it to the floor for debate.
Such action now is rare because considered impolite, and Speakers oppose doing it.
In the past, pulling bills was common.

It is crucial that new conservative senators hire quality, conservative staff because of high volume of communications with constituents.
Legislative and Administrative Aides should be conservative, veteran campaigners if possible, loyal, able to maintain confidentiality, very literate, and very understanding of senator mission objectives.
Senators often receive shotgun emails, loads that are difficult to answer quickly or at all.
Important to have a 24-hr. reply to constituent contacts, because constituent service is crucial.
Senators prefer constituents to contact them about legislation in the summer, fall, or early in the session.
Volume counts (not mass mail), either positive or negative, regarding legislation.
Emailing or phoning senator offices is fine.
Actually, few people contact their state senators, one great reason for conservatives to communicate.

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