As of January 10, the 64th Wyoming Legislative Session is underway! You can track all of the proposed legislation at the State Legislature website.
You will also be able to see some of the bills the Diocese is actively following, as well as communications from me at the Diocese of Cheyenne Legislative Liaison website and at the Diocese of Cheyenne Legislative Liaison Facebook Page. Also, you can contact our office at (307) 638-1530.
Tips for contacting your legislator:
1) If you do not know who your Senator or Representatives are, you can find them at http://legisweb.state.wy.us/LSOWEB/LegInfo.aspx. Simply enter your home address, and the site will identify them. The legislator’s contact information, including email and phone numbers, are also listed there.
2) When contacting your legislators, indicate in the subject line that you live in their district, the particular House Bill or Senate File that you are contacting them about, and whether or not you want the bill to pass or fail. For example,
Subject: I live in House District 1 Please Vote YES on HB#0. First, this tells them that you are a constituent, which means more than an email coming from someone they do not represent. This also makes it easy for them to tally “yes” or “no” votes on that particular bill from their inbox.
Notes- a) The same information is pertinent if you choose to call your legislator, instead. b) There is nothing wrong with emailing all of the legislators; just know it will make a bigger impact on those representing your district.
3) Be polite. We will not always like the way our legislators vote on a particular bill, but they might be the final vote needed on the next important bill. Nothing will limit your power to persuade as much as a negative, angry tone.
4) Be concise. By the end of the session, they will have read hundreds of bills and emails. You might develop the most persuasive essay ever written as to why the legislature should pass or fail a bill, but if it’s more than a few succinct lines, it will not be read. Turn your essay into an opinion piece and send it into the newspaper, instead.
5) Know that your effort makes a difference. Several legislators have commented that if they receive five or six emails (or phone calls) from constituents on a single bill, it can be enough to make them change their vote. That’s not very many! Also, because the session is so fast, and they are considering so many different kinds of bills, they often don’t have time to fully consider all of the implications that will occur if they pass or fail a bill. What does that mean? It means they really do need to hear from you! If you have a particular interest in issues regarding Labor/Health, Education, Judiciary matters (just as a few examples) chances are, you could know more about the consequences a bill will have than your legislator. Make your voice heard!
6) Finally, pray for our legislators! We have a citizen legislature here in Wyoming. They are not professional politicians; they are our neighbors. I believe they all have good intentions, but they truly have a difficult job.
Our hope is to shine a light on the dignity of the human person created in the image and likeness of God, from the womb to the tomb, and in every single state in between, including (but not limited to) the unborn, the poor, the immigrant, the elderly, and the imprisoned. This dignity was revealed to us by our Redeemer, when he showed that every single person is worth suffering and dying for; “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me Mt 25:40.” This dignity, by the way, also applies to our legislators! Please keep them in your prayers.
May the peace of Christ be with you!