As the leading public health professionals in the state, it’s important that you engage in public health policy development. After all, we’re the people that have first hand knowledge about the public health implications of the decisions that our elected officials make.
The good news is that it’s easier than ever to voice your opinion. Our state legislature has a transparent way to track bills through their www.azleg.gov website. The site allows you to track when bills are being heard in committee and provides an opportunity for you to express your support, opposition, or neutrality from your home or office.
The main URL to bookmark in your computer is http://www.azleg.gov – which is the State Legislature’s official website. It got an overhaul last year making it easier to work with.
If you have the number for a bill you’re interested in following, simply go to the upper right corner of the http://www.azleg.gov website and punch in the numbers. Up pops the bill including its recent status, committee assignments and the like.
The dark blue tabs provide more detailed info about the bill. For example, the “Documents” tab displays the actual language of the bill including the most recent versions.
You’ll see that bills have committee assignments on the Bill Status pages. You can easily check the committee agendas each week on the website too. Go to the “Committee Agenda” and pull up the agenda for the committee you’re interested in.
Most of the bills we’ve been following and advocating for or against have been assigned to either the House Health Committee or the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. This year the House Health Committee meets on Thursdays at 9 am. The Senate Health & Human Services Committee meets Wednesdays at 2 pm.
I’m encouraging all of you to weigh in for and against bills when you believe that it’s in the best interests of public health to do so. It’s straightforward.
First you need to create an account with an e-mail address and a password. You’ll need to go down to one of the kiosks in the House or Senate to set up your account and password- but after that you’ll be able to sign in for or against bills from your home or office. If you don’t want to use your work email address you can use a personal e-mail.
Once your account is set up, you can sign in support or against any bill at the Azleg’s My Bill Positons site at https://apps.azleg.gov/RequestToSpeak/MyBillPositions
Even if you don’t have an account, you can click on each bill and find out who has signed in for or against or neutral on the bill. Just go to the tab over each bill that says “RTS Current Bill Positions” and you’ll see who has signed in support or against each bill. Sometimes you’ll see our name up there (AzPHA)