Grassroots Advocacy Tool Kit - Courtesy of BMS


Gaining an understanding of how laws are made will help you determine where your advocacy efforts can have the greatest effect. Although there may be slight differences, there are five basic steps in the legislative process and it all begins with an IDEA. The idea doesn’t have to come from an elected

official; it can come from an advocate or an advocacy organization. If you can gain the support of elected officials with your idea, they can initiate the process of drafting a bill. And keep in mind, this process may take years and several legislative proposals.

BILL: A draft of a proposed law. CHAMBER: Either the House of Representatives or the Senate.

If the bill has continued support, it is placed onto the calendars of either the House or the Senate for debate, and also goes through budget approval with that chamber .


Once both chambers agree on the language of the bill, it goes to the Governor (or the President at the federal level) to be signed into law.


If the bill still needs continued support, it goes to the other chamber and repeats the process.

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