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The Use of Floor Alerts in the California Legislature

How do you get your floor alert noticed?

By Chris Micheli, December 11, 2022 8:42 am

As part of lobbying efforts in the California Legislature, when a bill reaches the Floors of either the State Assembly or the State Senate, lobbyists and lobbying organizations often utilize “floor alerts” for distribution to legislative offices. Are these helpful or useful?

It usually depends on the time of year in the legislative session whether floor alerts are helpful or useful for legislators and their staff. In other words, the more bills that are being considered on the Floors of the Assembly and Senate, which also means an increased volume of floor alerts being submitted, the harder it will be for floor alerts to be of value.

Those who walk the halls of the Capitol or Swing Space during busy times of the Legislative Session have probably seen the in-boxes of many legislative offices over the years and, during the last week of the Legislative Session for example, there are literally several hundred pieces of paper each day. There simply is no way for legislators and their staff to read and digest all of those papers.

So, how do you get your floor alert noticed? Some suggestions include:

  • Be brief and concise in your floor alert. They have to be kept to one page.
  • Clearly state your position at the top of the floor alert and at the bottom.
  • Make sure to include the bill number, author, Daily File number, and the subject of the bill.
  • Do not include other materials with your alert. You can offer to provide additional information if the legislator or staff request it.
  • Use short sentences, or even bulleted points in your alert.
  • Tell the truth and do not exaggerate or lie. Stick to the facts.
  • If your organization or company is a constituent, identify yourself at the top of the alert.
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