Monday, November 28, 2011

The time is always right

In a few short weeks the sound of gavels striking atop podiums will fill statehouses across the country as work gets underway to change, and in some instances improve, state rules. To many people this is a welcome opportunity to make their voice heard on issues that affect their daily lives, or livelihoods.

While the majority of people who are intent on contacting their lawmakers view the start of the legislative year as the “right time” to open a line of communication, you should not delay in getting your message across. There is no bad time to make your views known.

In fact, getting in touch with your legislators in the weeks before the 2012 regular session begins is a great opportunity to stand out. Taking action now allows you to communicate with your lawmakers about relevant issues before they are knee-deep into their legislative work.

Examples of states where it would be a good idea to start making phone calls, sending emails or writing letters about particular issues are Missouri and Pennsylvania. Legislators in both states are expected to discuss handing over state assets to private groups.

Officials in the Show-Me State will decide whether to move forward with a possible deal to lease Interstate 70 to pay for upgrades on the 250-mile stretch that links Kansas City and St. Louis.

In the Keystone State the ball has already started rolling at the statehouse to allow for deals on any existing roadway.

Elsewhere, one of the leading topics of the Maryland session is expected to be whether to increase the state’s fuel tax rates.

Whether you live in one of the states mentioned above or elsewhere, it is essential to have a line of communication with your elected officials year-round. Lawmakers cannot be prepared to address your concerns if they don’t know what they are. Help yourself and clue them in.

In addition to the traditional methods used to communicate and stay in touch with lawmakers, social media sites are growing in popularity with elected officials. Learn more about getting connected with them here.