How does the LSBA decide on bill positions?
The LSBA takes positions on bills through a three-step process that involves its (25)-member Legislation Committee--which derives its authority from the LSBA House of Delegates--and its (22)-member Board of Governors ("BOG"):
- Step One: The Legislation Committee holds its First Meeting, which basically involves in-depth work through subcommittees, with each subcommittee reviewing a list of notable bills and voting on possible bill positions. This occurs shortly after the legislative session's prefiling deadline. A preliminary list of notable bills is prepared by the Legislation Committee Chair, the LSBA’s lobbyist, and the Legislation Committee staff liaison. Additional bills may be added through members or stakeholders.
- Step Two: The Legislation Committee holds its Second Meeting, during which the whole Committtee considers and votes on each subcommittee's bill recommendations. The Committee will also consider any new bill(s) filed after the First Meeting, and any bill brought to its attention by a member or stakeholder. Stakeholders will have already been invited to submit written comments or position papers to the Committee in advance of this Second Meeting and, at the discretion of the Committee Chair, in consultation with the LSBA President, may also be invited to present their positions in-person at a special meeting held on the day prior to the Second Meeting.
- Step Three: The third and final step occurs at the BOG's meeting, which often occurs immediately after the Second Meeting. At this meeting, the BOG votes on whether to approve the Legislation Committee's recommended bill positions. Should the BOG not approve a particular bill position, the LSBA will not take a position on the bill.
At the conclusion of this three-step process, the LSBA's final bill positions are published on the LSBA website.
Occasionally, if a bill is brought to the attention of the BOG after bill positions are decided, a supermajority of the BOG, with input from the Legislation Committee, may result in an additional bill position.
When can I get my views known to the Legislation Committee, and whom do I tell?
Please note that once legislators have filed their bills, the legislative session moves quickly. So, the earlier that you contact a member of the Legislation Committee, a BOG member, the LSBA’s Executive Director or the Legislation Committee staff liaison, the better your chances will be that your bill will be considered by the committee.
What do you need from me if I have a bill of interest?
We will need the bill number, the bill position that you are advocating and the reason(s) for your position. Preferably, any supporting documents should be limited to one or two pages.
Be advised that the LSBA By-Laws
and its House of Delegates’ policies
strongly guide the Legislation Committee and the BOG. So, while a bill may be a good or bad bill for any number of reasons, it may not be one which fits within the strict guidelines that the LSBA must follow. Please review the LSBA By-Laws
and the House of Delegates' policies.
The most effective supporting document is one which advocates for your bill position using the criteria contained in Article XI.2 of the LSBA By-Laws, Criteria for Determining Positions
. State your position by addressing the listed criteria because that is exactly what the Legislation Committee and the BOG will be doing for each bill position.
If you have any questions, please contact the Legislation Committee staff liaison, Richard P. Lemmler, Jr.