Capitol dome in Charleston, WV

West Virginia Legislative Process

Classes:
Introduction > Legislative Process > Policy Making > Committee System > Bill Becomes Law > Take the Test > Resources


Resources > Contacting Your Legislators > Be Prepared, and more! > Public Hearings Fact Sheet

Four Ways To Contact Legislators

When advocating or educating legislators there are four ways to contact legislators: telephone calls, letters, personal contacts, and public hearings.

Telephone calls

Telephone calls are usually most effective when a proposed bill is in the legislature while it is in session. When making telephone calls, always know the bill number and make your message brief.

Tell the person answering the telephone who the message is for, give the bill number, and then give a brief message. (Example: I would like to leave a message for Senator John Doe about senate bill 224. My message is that I support this bill and would like to see it moved out of the finance committee).

In West Virginia the Legislative Public Information number is 877-565-3447. This number may be used for two purposes; to find out information on a bill or to leave two messages at a time for legislators. If leaving more than two messages, the number may be called as many times as needed and leave two messages each time.

Letter writing

When you contact your legislators by letter:

Do:

Don'ts:

Personal contacts

Personal meetings with elected officials is the most effective form of advocacy. Before meeting with a legislator, here are a few tips you should consider.

Remember: They are your representatives and their job is to listen to their constituents and represent you or your concerns or issues in the legislature. If you do have to meet with your legislator during the legislative session, please refer to the Be Prepared List when you meet with them.

Public hearings

Public hearings can be very beneficial in that you get to testify to a committee and educate several legislators at one time about a proposed bill. Most of the time public hearings only last about one hour so you only want to talk three to five minutes. The reason for this is that legislators get to hear several people talk and can see how a proposed bill may affect peoples lives.

Each person testifying can cover a different point about the proposed bill and how it will affect peoples lives. Be knowledgeable about the subject on which you are testifying. If asked questions you can't answer tell them you'll get back to them at a later date (do this as soon as possible because if you don't the bill may not be reported out of committee and die there).

See public hearing fact sheet for more information.


Mountain State Centers for Independent Living
Services | Resource Database | Skills Training Online
Contact Us | Home