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National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

Virginia Citizen Action Network Advocacy Manual



National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

Table of Contents I. MS Activists: Who are we? pg. 4 ♦ National Multiple Sclerosis Society ♦ Facts & Figures ♦ The Time Is Now; Become an MS Activist! II. Federal and State MS Activist Successes! pg. 6 We are moving politicians and legislation to champion the needs of people with MS through activism, advocacy and influence III. Advocacy Activities pg. 7 IV. The Legislative Process pg. 8 ♦ Howa Bill Becomes a Law- Federal Level ♦ Howa Bill Becomes a Law- State Level ♦ The State Budget Process V. Dos & Don’ts of Advocacy pg. 16 ♦ Writing a Letter to Your Legislators ♦ Calling Your Legislators ♦ Meeting with Your Legislators ♦ Giving Public Testimony VI. Appendices ♦ Appendix 1: Your Federal Legislators pg. 23 ♦ Appendix 2 Your State Legislators pg.31 ♦ Appendix 3: Legislative Visit Report Form pg. 36 ♦ Appendix 4: Resources pg. 38 ♦ Appendix 5: Glossary pg. 45


National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

Virginia MS Activists


National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

National MS Society Mission

We mobilize people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. We are a movement by and for people with MS, moving together toward a world free of MS. We help each person address the challenges of living with MS through our 50state network of chapters. The National MS Society funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, facilitates professional education, and provides programs and services to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward.

Facts & Figures

§ MS interrupts the flowof information from the brain to the body. Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. § Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. While the progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. § Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with more than twice as many women as men contracting the disease. It affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S. and 2.5 million worldwide. § Over 10,000 people in Virginia live with MS. § People with MS can expect one of four clinical courses of disease, each of which might be mild, moderate, or severe. § Studies showthat early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can reduce future disease activity and improve quality of life for people with MS. § Scientists do not yet knowwhat causes MS. Most agree several factors are involved, including: genetics, gender and environmental triggers. § In all parts of the world, MS is more common at northern latitudes that are farther from the equator and less common in areas closer to the equator. MS occurs in most ethnic groups, including African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics/Latinos, but is more common in Caucasians of northern European ancestry. § While MS is not hereditary in a strict sense, having a first-degree relative such as a parent or sibling with MS increases an individual's risk of developing the disease several-fold above the risk for the general population.


National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

The Time is Now; Become an MS Activist!

Why Advocate? More than 10,000 people live with MS in Virginia; MS affects not only the individual diagnosed, but his or her friends and family, too. If you or someone you care about is diagnosed with MS, this is your story to tell. You are the credible expert. Couple your perspective with national, state and local advocacy priorities to enhance the quality of life for those that live with MS, until its cause and cure are discovered. MS often strikes during the prime years of life, and not only affects personal relationships, but can also dramatically influence earning power. Trends indicate that on average, disease modifying therapies, medical treatments, loss of earning power and other factors can take an economic toll on the family and the country. Best estimates indicate that the average cost of MS is approximately $57,000 each year for the individual, and $20 billion for the country. Over the course of disease progression, approximately one quarter of individuals living with MS will require long-term care; while more than one half will require assistance with one or more activities of daily living. Others will rely upon government programs—for access to health care, disability benefits, or their long-term care. Beyond significant research investments funded by the Society that includes immune aspects, nerve tissue repair and myelin biology, clinical trials, rehabilitation, psychosocial issues and health care delivery, the federal government invests more than $150 million in MS related research at the National Institutes of Health. These public investments bring us ever closer to a cure and must be maintained to ensure advances in science. The National MS Society and volunteers nationwide advocate to prioritize MS research, and enhance care and quality of life until its cause and cure are discovered.

Activists Your voice and your story count. If you don’t speak out, who will? We are a movement by and for people with MS, moving together toward a world free of multiple sclerosis.

“Never doubt that a small group of concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead


National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

Federal Successes, MS activists:

MS Activists are enhancing quality of life & advocating for a world free of MS!

Reformed health care policies.

Secured nearly $10 million over the past two years, via the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, for MS related research.

Revised a potentially damaging Medicare policy on coverage of power mobility devices.

Led more than 100,000 people nationwide to sign the petition to increase federal funding for MS research.

Supported newopportunities for federally funded stem cell projects.

Advocated for passage of the ADA Amendments Act, signed into law on September 25, 2008.

State Successes •

Connecticut expanded its Elder Care Program into a newpilot program — the Connecticut Home Care Program — to serve people living with MS and other neurological diseases, between18-64 years of age. Currently, serving 41 individuals, it saves the state $2,055,576 each year.

New Hampshire strengthened accessible parking laws by imposing fines for blocking the “access isles,” increasing existing fines, and permitting photographic evidence of illegally parked.

Wisconsin expanded the Well Woman Program to offer diagnostic services for woman who are at high risk for multiple sclerosis and have little or no other health insurance coverage. To date, more than 50 women have been served by it.

Virginia declared the second week of March in 2010 and in each succeeding year, to be MS Awareness Week in the Commonwealth!

Legislative Priorities The Virginia Citizen Action Network (VA CAN) of the National MS Society is committed to ending the effects of multiple sclerosis. Here are a fewof our legislative priorities: • Improve access to affordable and accessible housing. • Improve mobility by increasing access to transportation. • Increase access to quality, comprehensive and affordable health care. • Increase access to appropriate long-term care. • Educate others about disability rights and ADA compliance. • Expand opportunities and support options for caregivers.


National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

Our Advocacy Activities - Ways YOU Can Take Action!

The Virginia Citizen Action Network engages people in the MS movement at all levels to take on leadership roles in advocacy. Here are some ways YOU can take action: •

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Join the MS Activist Network, our electronic advocacy network, to learn about important public policy issues affecting people with MS. Then, take action on issues of importance to people affected by MS. Build relationships with legislators. Visit with, call, or write to legislators about issues of importance to people with MS. Invite friends and elected representatives to a small gathering to discuss issues over coffee. Visit the state capitol, attend a listening session, or offer personal testimony at a hearing. Attend the VA CAN Legislative Action Day. This event offers an overviewof current public policy issues, and an opportunity to visit with state legislators. Volunteers share personal stories about the affects of MS with state legislators and advocate toward common goals. Represent the interests of the VA CAN in a coalition of like-minded organizations. Attend a Virginia Chapter special event like Walk MS or a program, such as a self help group meeting. Promote advocacy, share advocacy priorities. Recruit newvolunteers. Join your State’s Government Relations Committee to identify, track and address state public policy issues with chapter staff. Travel as a volunteer, sponsored by the VA CAN, to Washington DC. Attend the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Public Policy Conference and meet with federal legislators to advocate for common interests. Visit with federal or state legislators while in the district to advocate for an advocacy priority. Write a letter to the editor to express a viewpoint or perspective about an advocacy priority. Share a personal story with the media and create a broader awareness of issues important to people with MS. Participate in a “Get out the Vote Campaign” by visiting an area nursing home or long-term living facility and help residents file an absentee voter application. Plan or attend a voter forum to learn more about candidates for public office. Vote!


National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

The Legislative Process


National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

How a Bill Becomes A LawFederal Level

Introduction and Referral to Committee

Federal Level The official legislative process begins when a bill or resolution is introduced and numbered – “H.R.” signifies a House bill and “S.” a Senate bill. Only members of Congress can introduce bills. After a bill is introduced it is, with fewexceptions, referred to a standing committee in the House or Senate. It is at this point that a bill is carefully reviewed. If the committee does not act on the bill, it is the equivalent of killing it. Some bills take several years to pass. Most bills never become law.

Committee Action


Subcommittee review – Bills are often referred to a subcommittee for study and hearings.


Mark up – When the hearings are completed, the subcommittee may meet to “mark up” the bill. That is, changes and amendments are made prior to recommending the bill to the full committee.


Committee action to report a bill – After receiving the subcommittee’s report on amendments, the committee then “orders the bill reported,” by voting on its recommendations to the House or Senate.

Publication of a report – This report (Report ______ to accompany H.R. _____) describes the intent and scope of the bill in clearer language, as well as the bill’s impact on existing laws and programs, and the views of the President and dissenting members of the committee. After a bill is reported back to the House or Senate it is placed on a legislative calendar.

Floor Action


Setting rules for debate – When a bill reaches the floor of the House or Senate, there are rules or procedures governing the debate on legislation. These rules determine the conditions and amount of time allocated for general debate.


Voting – After the debate and the approval of any amendments, the bill is passed or defeated by the members voting.


Referral to other chamber – When a bill is passed by the House or the Senate it is referred to the other chamber where it usually follows the same route through committee and floor action.


National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

Conference Committee Action

Final Actions

If the other chamber significantly alters the bill, a conference committee is formed to reconcile the differences between the House and the Senate versions. If the conferees are unable to reach an agreement, the legislation dies. If agreement is reached, a conference report is prepared. Both the House and the Senate must approve the conference report.

If the Bill passes the House and Senate it is sent to the President. If the President approves of the legislation, he signs it and it becomes law. The President can veto the bill if he opposes it. If the President takes no action, after ten days the bill will become law, if Congress is in session. If Congress is not in session, the bill dies. This inaction is called a “pocket veto.” Congress may attempt to “override the veto,” which requires a two-thirds vote. Source: Capital Advantage, 1997

Source: School House Rock! - I m Just a Bill, 1975.


National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

How A Bill Becomes A Law

Bill Introduced in House

Bill Introduced in Senate



Referred to House Committee

Referred to Senate Committee Bills go to full committee, then usually to a more specialized subcommittee for study, hearings, revisions and approval or nonapproval. Committees rarely give a bill an unfavorable report if they want to kill a bill. Rather, no action is taken, thereby ending consideration of the measure.

Referred to Subcommittee

Reported by Full Committee

In the House, many bills go before the Rules Committee for a “rule” expediting floor action and setting conditions for debate and amendments on the floor.

Rules Committee Action

Referred to Subcommittee

Reported by Full Committee

Ú Floor Action



Floor Action


House Debate, Vote on Passage

Senate Debate, Vote on Passage Ø

× Conference Action Once both chambers have passed related bills, a conference committee comprised of members from both chambers meet to work out differences. The compromise version from the conference committee is then sent to each chamber for final approval. If approved it is then sent to the President for signature or veto.

Ú House


President Signs or Veto’s

Source: Congressional Quarterly


Ú Senate



National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

How a Bill Becomes a LawState Level

Introduction of the Bill

Committee Consideration

State Level The process of lawmaking is quite similar from state to state, with the exception of in Nebraska where its legislature is unicameral. In general, it follows the pattern of the U.S. Congress. Any member of the Legislature may decide that an idea whether his or her own, or that of a constituent, interest group, administrative agency, or the governor of the state, would be in the public interest and should be enacted into law. A proposed bill is written for this purpose and introduced into the Legislature by one or more members, who act as its sponsor(s). In most states, members of the Legislature have a limited time during which they may file proposed bills and resolutions. It is typically before, and for a limited time after, the opening of a legislative session. Each bill is read by the clerk in the chamber in which it originates. This is considered the “first reading,” though the clerks do not actually read the bill. The clerk simply states the title, number and date of the bill. After introduction, the bill is assigned to the appropriate committee for study and debate. In some states, bills are referred to more than one committee, depending on jurisdiction. Each house establishes standing reference committees to consider bills and examine public policy in specific subject areas such as health, human services, environment, education, labor, military and veterans’ affairs and transportation. The two legislative chambers also form joint committees with members from both houses. In a fewinstances, ad hoc committees may be created by passing a lawor resolution to address special issues and make recommendations for legislative or administrative action. The number and scope of committees and their respective membership are established in the rules of the House, and may change in each two-year legislative session. The presiding officer of the house – the president in the Senate and the speaker in the House – appoints committee chairs and committee members from the majority party. The minority leader recommends members that represent the minority party. The composition of the membership of the committee reflects that of the House in regard to party affiliation. Legislators are usually appointed to a committee according to their expertise and interest in a particular subject. Once a committee reviews a proposed bill, it has several options. It can take no action (thereby effectively letting the bill die). It can hold hearings on the legislation and put it to a vote of the committee with or without making changes. Changing, or “marking up”, a bill entails adding text or provisions as amendments, or deleting


National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

portions of the bill through the amendment process. Some states require a public hearing at the committee level. In some states, anyone can appear before the committee to speak in favor of or against the bill, while in others, experts are designated to testify. A third option for a committee is to combine the bill with other bills that address the same subject.

Floor Consideration in the First House Action in the Second House

Conference Committee

Action by the Governor

If the bill is favorably reported out of committee, it is read in the full house (the “second reading”) where it is also debated and may be amended. If it passes the full house, it is sent to the other chamber or “second house” where it goes through a similar process. The second house takes what action it desires on bills originating in the other chamber. If a version of the bill does not pass, the bill dies. If the bill is amended in any way to make it different from the version passed by the first house, the amendments must be returned to the first house for its approval. If the two houses cannot agree on the wording of the bill, it typically goes to a conference committee to work out the differences. Conference committees are special committees made up of members of both houses appointed by their leaders -- Senate President and House Speaker -for the specific purpose of resolving differences on a particular bill. In some states, the conference committee can rewrite the bill, while in others, it must combine elements of the original versions passed in each house. If the conference committee reaches agreement, the newversion of the bill must be voted on by each chamber. Not all states use conference committees. If the bill has passed both houses in identical form, it is sent to the governor. The governor can sign the bill, veto the bill, or take no action. The bill becomes a lawif the governor signs it or, in most states, if the governor takes no action within a set period of time. If the governor vetoes a bill, that bill is dead unless both houses of the legislature take up the bill again and pass it a second time by a large majority. Typically, a two-thirds vote is required for a veto override, though some states require a lesser percentage. * The “upper” chamber of 49 state legislatures is called the Senate, excluding Nebraska’s unicameral Senate. The “lower” chamber is most frequently called the House of Delegates or the Assembly. In Virginia there are 100 State Delegates in the House and 40 State Senators in the Senate. Typically, less than twenty percent of bills introduced become law.


National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

The Budget Process

The budget bill is the longest and most complex bill of the session. Because the Virginia budget covers a 2-year period from July 1 of one even-numbered year through June 30 of the next, its development involves a chain of events stretching over almost a year. In the fall of every odd-numbered year, state agencies must submit funding requests to the Department of Administration. Their funding requests include estimates of the cost of existing services over the next two years and may propose changes to existing programs and services. The Department of Administration’s state budget office then compiles the data for reviewby the governor or governor elect. While developing the budget, the governor may hold a hearing on any department’s budget request to get additional input. State lawrequires the governor to deliver the budget message to the newlegislature on or before the last Tuesday in January, although the legislature may extend the deadline at the governor’s request. The state budget report and the biennial executive budget bill or bills accompany the message. In the legislature, the Virginia designated committee holds hearings on the departmental requests and governor’s program initiatives. When these are completed, it reports the budget bill to the house of the legislature in which it was introduced. The committee’s report takes the form of a substitute amendment. The bill then follows the normal legislative procedure through both houses of the legislature and is submitted for the governor’s approval. The governor may sign the budget bill, veto it in its entirety (which would be unlikely) or use partial vetoes, as is usually the case. To meet the state’s budgetary cycle, the newbudget lawshould be effective by July 1 of the even-numbered year. There sometimes is a delay of several days, or even weeks or months, during which state agencies continue to operate at their levels of appropriation from the preceding budget. Amendments to the budget can be made in odd-numbered years and go into affect on the date of passage.


National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

Virginia Budget Process

Source: Virginia Department of Planning and Budget,


National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

DOs & DON´Ts of Advocacy


National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

Essentials § Be Brief § Be Persuasive Using Facts and/or Statistics § Focus on One Issue § Do Not be Threatening or Confrontational § Do Not be Overly Technical § Include Contact Information

Communication The three most effective ways of contacting your legislators are through an office visit, by telephone, or in writing. However you communicate, keep these two goals in mind: 1. You want to affect your legislators’ decision on a specific piece of legislation. 2. You want to build a relationship with your legislators that will lead them to respect and value your future communications on important issues.

MS Activists meet with Congressman Tom Perriello at his DC office.


National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010

The Credible Experts

The Voices of Those Affected by multiple sclerosis

Once the legislature is in session, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society will be tracking legislation. You may receive an electronic “Action Alert” informing you about upcoming critical issues and asking you to take action. Because the legislative process evolves so quickly, your swift response can have a tremendous effect on the outcome of the issue. One way to impress a legislator with your views is to speak with him or her face to face. If there is sufficient time before an upcoming vote on a bill, you should make every effort to schedule an office visit. An office visit demonstrates to your legislator you care about the issue enough to go out of your way and make time in your own busy schedule to meet with him or her. Meeting with a legislative aide can be just as effective as visiting with the legislator. Do not be disappointed if you cannot meet directly with the legislator due to scheduling conflicts. Most often, you will be asked to write or call your legislator. A concise letter or e-mail is an efficient way to convey your message thoroughly and directly. Most legislators believe that a piece of correspondence deserves as much of their attention as the sender put into writing it. Write your letters on personal stationery and include your home address. If you use email, include your personal contact information. §

Tell him or her that you live in his or her legislative district.


Identify the subject you are writing about and the bill number, if known. Describe briefly the issue involved and (if applicable) what the bill would do. Illustrate the negative/positive impact the proposal would have on the state. Ask him or her directly to support (or oppose) the legislative proposal or bill that relates to the issue.

§ § § §

Ask him or her to write back and explain where he or she stands on this important issue.


Include your return address in your letter and thank the legislator for paying attention to your concerns.


National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2010


Sample Letter to Your State Legislator

Your Home Address City, State, Zip Home Telephone Number The Honorable John Doe State Senate or House of Delegates City, State, Zip Dear Senator (or Delegate) Doe: On behalf of the more than 10,000 people in Virginia living with multiple sclerosis, I am writing to ask you to support …. Sincerely, Your Name Address __________________________________________________ Telephone Calls

Calling Your Legislators

Individual calls and a telephone calling campaign can be very effective if an issue comes up that needs to be handled quickly. Calls can demonstrate to a legislator that a large number of people support or oppose a specific piece of legislation. Tell the staff you want your legislator to knowyour views on a specific issue. Keep your message brief and use your best points. The staff keeps a tally of all calls on an issue and will make sure the legislator knows how many calls he or she has received. Keep these points in mind when you call your legislator: § Identify yourself. Clearly state your name, address and why you are calling. Indicate whether you are a constituent or not. Then express your concern about a specific issue. § Keep it brief, concise, and courteous. Legislators and their staff are very busy. Limit your call to three or four minutes. Use written notes so you do not become confused or digress from the topic. § Keep it focused. Assert your position and offer arguments that support it, but don’t be confrontational. § Ask for a response. Demonstrate your concern by asking for a written reply. Provide your mailing address.


“Hello, (Senator or Delegate) Doe;

Sample Phone Script

My name is ____________, and I am a volunteer with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, [Your Chapter]. I live at… Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. I am calling today to express support for (opposition to)… Thank you for your time. Goodbye.” _____________________________________________

Visiting your Legislator

Be Prompt Remember that legislators are extremely busy during their legislative sessions. Make an appointment with his or her scheduler and be on time. If he or she is late, be patient. Do not be discouraged if you meet with a staff member in place of the legislator. Staff members keep legislators informed about the issues, and legislators frequently ask staff for advice on specific issues. Be Prepared Before you meet with your Senator or Delegate knowwhat you want to achieve. If you are asking for his or her support on a bill currently before the legislature, be sure you knowthe bill number, the approximate date it may be put to a vote, facts about howit will affect people living with MS and facts about howit may affect constituents in your legislator’s district. The Virginia Citizen Action Network can oftentimes help you prepare. Be Polite Never threaten to oppose the legislator if he or she does not agree with your position. After listening to his or her point of view, politely suggest that he or she consider alternative perspectives and offer to provide additional information. Be Political Demonstrate that the issue you are advocating about directly affects the legislator’s constituents. If you can convince your legislator that what you are requesting would have a positive impact on his or her constituents, the prospects for a vote in your favor increase greatly.


Be Thorough Write down the questions you want to have answered and bring them to the meeting. Once you are there, take notes. Be sure to write down the names of the staff members you meet. Having a record will be helpful. Follow-Up Follow-up with a thank-you letter briefly outlining the different points covered during the meeting and attach any additional information and material. A thank you note serves two purposes. It maintains your relationship and reinforces your message. Also, be sure to let the National MS Society, Chapter staff knowthe results of your meeting. Reminder Coordinate any meetings with legislators with your Chapter staff members and complete the contact form contained in this manual.


Public Testimony

A public hearing is the only official way a citizen can participate in the legislative process. It is a means to make a very favorable impression because it shows you care enough to stand up and be counted. If there is a public hearing at which you want to testify, call the committee holding the hearing and ask to be placed on the witness list. Followup with a letter confirming your request to appear. In the future, you may be asked to testify again, particularly if your past testimony was informative and compelling. Coordinate your testimony with the Virginia Citizen Action Network to gather additional appropriate information beyond your personal experiences. Things to Keep in Mind when giving Public Testimony §

Do identify yourself and where you reside.


Do state your position clearly. Say whether you support or oppose the issue.


Do be sure to say if you have first hand experience with the issue. Real life experience establishes credibility, but be sure you can substantiate what you are saying.


Do be courteous and non-confrontational. You will receive the same courteousness and respect from members of the legislative committee.


Do dress in a professional manner and reflect that this is an important occasion.


Do be brief. Even if there isn’t a time limit, don’t plan to speak for more than three minutes.


Do send copies of your statement to your legislator, urging his or her support or opposition.


Bring copies of your testimony to submit to the committee.


Do send copies to the media. It can be a good way to get additional support for your position.


Appendix 1: Your Federal Lawmakers: Virginia


Addressing Your Correspondence To a Senator

The Honorable (Full Name) United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 Dear Senator (Last Name):

To a Representative

The Honorable ( Full Name) The United Sates House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms (Last name)

Note: When writing to the Chair of a Committee or the Speaker of the House, it is proper to address him/her as: Dear Mr. Chairman or Madam Chairwoman: Or Dear Madam Speaker:


United States Senate-Virginia Delegation

Mark R. Warner (D) 459A Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 (202)224-2023 Abingdon 180 West Main Street Abingdon, VA 24210 (276) 628-8158 Norfolk 101 W. Main Street Suite 4900 Norfolk, VA 23510 (757) 441-3079 Richmond 919 E. Main Street Suite 630 Richmond, VA 23219 (804) 775-2314 Roanoke 129B Salem Avenue, SW Roanoke, VA 24011 (540) 857-2676 Vienna 8000 Towers Crescent Drive Suite 200 Vienna, Virginia 22182 (703) 442-0670 Jim Webb (D) 248 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-4024 Danville 308 Craghead Street Suite 102A Danville, VA 24541 (434) 792-0976


Hampton Roads 222 Central Park Ave. Suite 120 Virginia Beach, VA 23462 (757) 518-1674 Northern Virginia 7309 Arlington Boulevard Suite 316 Falls Church, VA 22042 Loehmann's Plaza (703) 573-7090 Norton 756 Park Avenue, N.W. Norton, VA 24273 Mail to: 756 Park Avenue, N.W. P.O. Box 1300 Norton, VA 24273 (276) 679-4925 Richmond 507 East Franklin Street Richmond, VA 23219 (804) 771-2221 Roanoke 3140 Chaparral Drive Building C, Suite 101 Roanoke, VA 24018 (540) 772-4236

United States RepresentativesVirginia Delegation

Robert J. Wittman, Virginia 1st district 1318 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-4261 Yorktown 4904-B G. Washington Memorial Hwy. Yorktown, VA 23692 (757) 874-6687 Fredericksburg 3504 Plank Road, Suite 203 Fredericksburg, VA 22407 (540) 548-1086


United States Representatives continued

Tappahannock 508 Church Lane Tappahannock, VA 22560 (804) 443-0668 Glenn C. Nye III, Virginia 2nd district 116 Cannon House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-4215 Hampton Roads 4772 Euclid Rd., Suite E Virginia Beach, VA 23462 (757) 326-6201 Eastern Shore 23386 Front Street Accomac, VA 23301 (757) 789-5092 Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, Virginia 3rd district 1201 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-8351 Hampton Roads 2600 Washington Ave. Suite 1010 Newport News, VA 23607 (757) 380-1000 Richmond 400 N. 8th Street Suite 430 Richmond, VA 23219 (804) 644-4845 Randy J. Forbes, Virginia 4th district 2438 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225 – 6365 Chesapeake 505 Independence Parkway, Suite 104 Chesapeake, VA 23320 (757) 382-0080


Colonial Heights District Office 2903 Boulevard, Suite B Colonial Heights, VA 23834 (804) 526-4969

United States Representatives continued

Emporia District Office 425 H. South Main Street Emporia, VA 23847 (434) 634-5575 Tom Perriello, Virginia 5th district 1520 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-4711 Martinsville 10 East Church Street, Suite K Martinsville, VA 24112 Phone: (276) 656-2291 Charlottesville 313 2nd Street SE, Suite 112 Charlottesville, VA 22902 (434) 293-9631 Danville 308 Craghead Street, Suite 102 Danville, VA 24541 (434) 791-2596 Farmville 515 S. Main St. Farmville, VA 23901 (434) 392-1997 Bob Goodlatte, Virginia 6th district 2240 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-5431 Harrisonburg 2 South Main Street Suite A, First Floor Harrisonburg, VA 22801 (540) 432-2391


Lynchburg 916 Main Street Suite 300 Lynchburg, VA 24504 (434) 845-8306

United States Representatives continued

Roanoke 10 Franklin Road SE Suite 540 Roanoke, VA 24011 (540) 857-2672 Staunton 7 Court Square Staunton, VA 24401 (540) 885-3861 Eric Cantor, Virginia, 7th district 329 Cannon House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-2815 Richmond 4201 Dominion Blvd. Suite 110 Glen Allen, VA 23060 (804) 747-4073 Culpeper 763 Madison Road # 207 Culpeper, VA 22701 (540) 825-8960 Jim Moran, Virginia 8th district 2239 Rayburn Building Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-4376 Alexandria 333 N. Fairfax St., Suite 201 Alexandria, VA 22314 (703) 971-4700 Rick Boucher, Virginia 9th district 2187 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 (202)225-3861

29 GAP, VIRGINIA 24219 | 276-523-5450

Abingdon 188 East Main St. Abingdon, BA 24210 (276)628-1145

United States Representatives continued

Pulaski 106 North Washington Pulaski, VA, 24301 (540)980-4310 Big Stone 1 Cloverleaf Square, Suite C-1 Big Stone Gap, VA 24219 (276)523-5450 Frank R. Wolf, Virginia 10th district Washington Office 241 Cannon Building Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-5136 Herndon Office 13873 Park Center Rd Ste.130 Herndon, VA 20171 (703) 709-5800 (800) 945-9653 in state Winchester Office 110 N. Cameron St. Winchester, VA 22601 (540) 667-0990 (800) 850-3463 in state Gerald E. Connolly, Virginia 11th district 327 Cannon House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-1492 Annadale 4115 Annandale Road, Ste. 103 Annandale, VA 22003 Phone: (703) 256-3071 Prince William 4308 Ridgewood Center Dr. Woodbridge, VA 22192 Phone: (703) 670-4989


Appendix 2: State Legislators


Virginia Senate Member Name Barker, George L Blevins, Harry, B. Colgan, Charles, J. Deeds, R. Creigh Edwards, John S. Hanger, Emmett W., Jr. Herring, Mark R. Houck R. Edward Howell, Janet D. Hurt, Robert Locke, Mamie E. Lucas, L. Louise Marsden, David W. Marsh, Henry L., III Martin, Stephen H. McDougle, Ryan T. McEachin, A. Donald McWaters, Jeffery L. Miller, John C. Miller, Yvonne B. Newman, Stephen D. Norment, Thomas K. Jr. Northan, Ralph S. Obenshain, Mark D. Petersen, Chap Puckett, Phillip P. Puller, Toddy Quayle, Fredrick M. Reynolds, Wm. Roscoe Ruff, Frank M., Jr. Saslaw, Richard L. Smith, Ralph K. Stosch, Walter A. Stuart, Richard H. Ticer, Patricia S. Vogel, Jill Holtzman Wagner, Frank W. Wampler, William C., Jr. Watkins, John Whipple, Mary Margaret

District 39th 14th 29th 25th 21st 24th 33rd 17th 32nd 19th 2nd 18th 37th 16th 11th 4th 9th 8th 1st 5th 23rd 3rd 6th 26th 34th 38th 36th 13th 20th 15th 35th 22nd 12th 28th 30th 27th 7th 40th 10th 31st

Party D R D D D R D D D R D D D D R R D R D D R R D R D D D R D R D R R R D R R R R D

Capitol Phone (804) 687-7539 (804) 687-7514 (804) 687-7529 (804) 687-7525 (804) 687-7521 (804) 687-7524 (804) 687-7533 (804) 687-7517 (804) 687-7532 (804) 687-7519 (804) 687-7502 (804) 687-7518 (804) 687-7537 (804) 687-7516 (804) 687-7511 (804) 687-7504 (804) 687-7509 (804) 687-7508 (804) 687-7501 (804) 687-7505 (804) 687-7523 (804) 687-7503 (804) 687-7506 (804) 687-7526 (804) 687-7534 (804) 687-7538 (804) 687-7536 (804) 687-7513 (804) 687-7520 (804) 687-7515 (804) 687-7535 (804) 687-7522 (804) 687-7512 (804) 687-7528 (804) 687-7530 (804) 687-7527 (804) 687-7507 (804) 687-7540 (804) 687-7510 (804) 687-7531


District Phone (703) 303-1426 (757) 546-2435 (703) 368-0300 (434) 296-5491 (540) 985-8690 (540) 885-6898 (703) 729-3300 (540) 786-2782 (703) 709-8283 (434) 432-4600 (757) 825-5880 (757) 397-8209 (571) 249-3037 (804) 648-9073 (804) 674-0242 (804) 730-1026 (804) 226-4111 (757) 965-3700 (757) 595-1100 (757) 627-4212 (434) 385-1065 (757) 259-7810 (757) 818-5172 (540) 437-1451 (703) 349-3361 (276) 979-8181 (703) 765-1150 (757) 483-9173 (276) 638-2315 (434) 374-5129 (703) 978-0200 (540) 206-3597 (804) 527-7780 (804) 493-8892 (703) 549-5770 (540) 662-4551 (757) 671-2250 (276) 669-7515 (804) 379-2063 (703) 538-4097

Virginia House of Delegates Member Name Abbit, Watkins M., Jr Abbott, Robin A. Albo, David B. Alexander, Kenneth C. Anderson, Richard L. Armstrong, Ward L. Athey, Clifford L., Jr. BaCote, Mamye E. Barlow, William K. Bell, Richard "Dickie" Bell, Robert B. Brink, Robert H. Bulova, David L. Byron, Kathy J. Carr, Betsy B. Carrico, Charles W., Sr. Cleaveland, Bill H. Cline, Benjamin L. Cole, Mark L. Comstock, Barbara J. Cosgrove, John A. Cox, John A. Cox, M. Kirkland Crockett-Stark, Anne B. Dance, Rosalyn R. Ebbin, Adam P. Edmunds III, James E. Englin, David L. Filler-Corn, Eileen Garrett, T. Scott Gear, Thomas D. Gilbert, C. Todd Greason, Thomas "Tag" Howell, Algie T., Jr. Herring, Charnielle L. Hope, Patrick A. Howell, Algie T., Jr. Howell, William J. Hugo, Timothy D. Iaquinto, Salvatore R. Ingram, Riley E. James, Matthew Janis, William R. Joannou, Johnny S. Johnson, Joseph P., Jr. Jones, S. Chris Keam, Mark L.

District 59th 93rd 42nd 89th 51st 10th 18th 95th 64th

Party I D R D R D R D D

Capitol Phone (804) 698-1059 (804) 698-1093 (804) 698-1042 (804) 698-1089 (804_698-1051 (804) 698-1010 (804) 698-1018 (804) 698-1095 (804) 698-1064

District Phone (434) 352-2880 (757) 256-7772 (703) 451-3555 (757) 628-1000 (571)2649983 (276) 632-7022 (540) 635-2123 (757) 244-4415 or 244-4881 (757) 357-9720

20th 58th 48th 37th 22nd 69th 5th 17th 24th 88th 34th 78th 55th 66th 6th 63rd 49th 60th 45th 41st 23rd 91st 15th 32nd 90thq 46th 47th 90th 28th 40th 84th 62nd 80th 56th 79th 4th 76th 35th


(804) 698-1020 (804) 698-1058 (804) 698-1048 (804) 698-1037 (804) 698-1022 (804)698-1069 (804) 698-1005 (804) 698-1017 (804) 698-1024 (804) 698-1088 (804) 698-1034 (804) 698-1078 (804) 698-1055 (804) 698-1066 (804) 698-1006 (804) 698-1063 (804) 698-1049 (804) 698-1060 (804) 698-1045 (804)698-1041 (804) 698-1023 (804) 698-1091 (804) 698-1015 (804) 698-1032 (804) 698-1090 (804) 698-1046 (804)698-1047 (804) 698-1090 (804) 698-1028 (804) 698-1040 (804) 698-1084 (804) 698-1062 (804) 698-1080 (804) 698-1056 (804) 698-1079 (804) 698-1004 (804) 698-1076 (804) 698-1035

(540)332-3998 (434) 245-8900 (703) 531-1048 (703) 310-6752 (434) 582-1592 (804)698-1169 (276) 236-0098 (540) 992-4041 (434) 946-9908 (540) 752-8200 (703) 209-3787 (757) 547-3422 (804) 365-9000 (804) 526-5135 (276) 227-0247 (804) 862-2922 (703) 549-8253 (434) 575-0000 (703) 549-3203 (571)249-3453 (434) 455-0243 (757) 825-1943 (540) 459-7550 (703) 203-3203 (757) 466-7525 (703)606-9705 (703)486-1010 (757) 466-7525 (540) 371-1612 (703) 968-4101 (757) 430-0102 (804) 458-9873 (804) 698-1080 (804) 726-5856 (757) 399-1700 (276) 628-9940 (757) 483-6242 (703) 350-3911


1st 81st 38th 25th 67th 100th 31st 68th 14th 13th 72nd 33rd


(804) 698-1001 (804) 698-1081 (804) 698-1038 (804) 698-1025 (804) 698-1067 (804) 698-1000 (804) 698-1031 (804) 698-1068 (804) 698-1014 (804) 698-1013 (804) 698-1072 (804) 698-1033

(276) 386-7011 (757) 426-6387 (703) 354-6024 (540) 245-5540 (703) 264-1432 (757) 787-1094 (703) 580-1294 (804) 440-6222 (434) 797-5861 (703) 361-5416 (804) 377-0100 (703) 777-1191

71st 70th 16th 50th 87th 3rd 98th 74th 7th 73rd 94th 54th 97th 2nd 36th 96th 9th


(804) 698-1071 (804) 698-1070 (804) 698-1016 (804) 698-1050 (804) 698-1087 (804) 698-1003 (804) 698-1098 (804) 698-1074 (804) 698-1007 (804) 698-1073 (804) 698-1094 (804) 698-1054 (804) 698-1097 (804) 698-1002 (804) 698-1036 (804) 698-1096 (804) 698-1009

(804) 698-1171 (804) 698-1070 (434) 836-3370 (703) 244-6172 (757) 587-8757 (276) 345-4300 (804) 693-4750 (804) 328-1466 (540) 382-7731 (804) 282-8640 (757) 930-8683 (540) 891-1322 (804) 730-3737 (276) 762-9758 (703) 758-9733 (757) 223-9690 (540) 489-8989



(804) 698-1099

(804) 462-5940

Purkey, Harry R.



(804) 698-1082

(757) 481-1493

Putney, Lacey E. Robinson, Roxann L.



(804) 698-1019

(540) 586-0080



Rust, Thomas Davis



(804) 698-1027 (804) 698-1086

(804) 308-1534 (703) 437-9400

Scott, Edward T.



(804) 698-1030

(540) 825-6400

Scott, James M.



(804) 698-1053

(703) 560-8338

Sherwood, Beverly J.



(804 698-1029

(540) 667-8947

Shuler, James M. Sickles, Mark D.



(804) 698-1012

(540) 953-1103

43rd 77th


(804) 698-1043 (804) 698-1077

(703) 922-6440 (757) 424-2178

Stolle, Chris P. Surovell, Scott A.



(804) 698-1083

(757) 633-2080



Tata, Robert



(804) 698-1044 (804) 698-1085

(571) 249-4484 (757) 340-3510

Torian, Luke E.



Toscano, David J.



(804) 698-1052 (804) 698-1057

(703) 785-2224 (434) 220-1660

Tyler, Roslyn C.



(804) 698-1075

(434) 336-1710

Villanueva, Ron A.



(757) 216-3883

Ward, Jeion A.



(804) 698-1021 (804) 698-1092

Kilgore, Terry G. Knight, Barry D. Kory, L. Kaye Landes, R. Steven LeMunyon, James M. Lewis, Lynwood W., Jr. Lingamfelter, L. Scott Loupassi, G. Manoli Marshall, Daniel W., III Marshall, Robert G. Massie, James P. (Jimmie), III May, Joe T. McClellan, Jennifer L. McQuinn, Delores L. Merricks, Donald W. Miller, Jackson H. Miller, Paula J. Morefield, James W. Morgan, Harvey B. Morrissey, Joseph D. Nutter, David A. O'Bannon, John M., III Oder, G. Glenn Orrock, Robert D., Sr. Peace, Christopher Kilian Phillips, Clarence E. Plum, Kenneth R. Pogge, Brenda L. Poindexter, Charles D. Pollard, Albert C., Jr.

Spruill, Lionell, Sr.


(757) 827-5921

Ware, Onzlee



(804) 698-1011

(540) 344-7410

Ware, R. Lee, Jr.



(804) 698-1065

(804) 598-6696

Watts, Vivian E. Wilt, Tony, O



(804) 698-1039

(703) 978-2989



(804) 698-1026

Wright, Thomas C., Jr.



(804) 698-1061

(540) 437-1450 (434) 696-3061


Appendix 3: Legislative Visit Report Form


National Multiple Sclerosis Society, VA CAN Legislative Activity Report Form It is very important to convey to us the details of your interaction with the Legislator for our ongoing advocacy efforts. Please complete one form for each activity and return to: Ashley Chapman, Virginia State Advocacy Manager 4200 Innslake Dr., Suite 301 Glen Allen, VA 23060 ashley.chapman@ Committee (circle one): Senate House Legislator: Name of Staff Person with whom you met or spoke: Type of Activity (circle one): Letter writing Phone Call


Public Testimony

Issues: 1. Issue Summary:_____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ Supports Does not support because

_ ______


2. Issue Summary:_____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ Supports Does not support because

_ ______

Your Name:







__ Thank you for being an MS Activist! Please use additional sheets, if necessary.



Appendix 4: Resources


Here are Some Resources to Help You with Your MS Activism!

˜ Virginia General Assembly Website – ˜ Who´s my Legislator? – ˜ The Legislative Information System (to track bills and legislator action) – ˜ Richmond Sunlight, bill and legislator tracking ˜ Your local legislator´s personal website o Sign up for their mailing list so you can be kept abreast of what they’re working on and any events they may be hosting or participating in. You can usually find this doing a basic internet search. ˜ Your local newspaper o Start regularly reading you local newspaper to stay up-to-date on political news as well as any local issues that may directly affect people with MS. Write down any information you find so that you can share it with Ashley. ˜ Other media such as blogs, radio shows, Facebook and Twitter pages, etc. ˜ Your city/town/county´s website o Look on this site for a list of Boards and Commissions you may be able to join or attend. An example would be the local Disability Services Board or Transportation Commission. ˜ National MS Society Government Affairs website – ˜ National MS Society Federal Activism Blog ˜ Your National MS Society Chapter´s website o Keep up to date on events or activities happening in your area, especially if they are advocacy related.


Appendix 5: Glossary


Act a bill that has been passed by both chambers of a legislature or the Congress and has been approved by a governor or president. A bill that has become law.

Adjournment termination of a daily session of a legislature or the Congress, occurring at the close of a day’s official business, with the date and hour of the next meeting established before the declaration of adjournment.

Amendment any alteration made or proposed to be made in a bill, motion, or clause thereof, by adding, changing, substituting, or omitting certain language. Amendments can be proposed by a committee while it is studying a bill, or by a legislator when a bill is being debated on the floor of a house or a senate.

Assembly a term used in some states to describe the “lower house” or chamber of a legislature; a House of Representatives.

Author a title used to identify a legislator who has introduced a bill into a legislature. Also referred to as “sponsor” or “patron.”

Authorization a monetary amount stated in a bill that serves as a reasonable estimate of the cost of a program or activity. Authorizations serve as a guide for appropriations committees and limit the amount of money that can be allocated for the provisions established by a bill.

Bicameral a term referring to legislative bodies with two chambers, namely a house of representatives and a senate. The Congress and all state legislatures, with the exception of Nebraska, are bicameral.

Bill a proposal, introduced into a legislature, for the enactment of a newlaw, the amendment or repeal of an existing law, or for the appropriation of public funds. Bills move by agreement of a majority of the membership through the various legislative stages of committee consideration, chamber debate and vote, and approval or disapproval by a chief executive.

Calendar a group of bills or other legislative business items listed in order of their intended presentation to a legislative body. State legislatures and the Congress may have several calendars for their business. State legislatures may have separate calendars for committee hearings and for bills that have been reported out of committee and will be considered by the entire chamber. Also referred to as the “order of business,” the calendar informs legislators and the public about the anticipated schedule of business of a chamber.

Caucus a meeting of a group of legislators usually from the same political party or sharing a similar background or interest, assembled to discuss strategy on selected topics.


Chamber the area reserved for the members and staff of a legislature for conducting legislative business.

Cloture a legislative rule or procedure that ends debate, especially extended debate or a filibuster, in order to permit a vote to be taken. Also used, in some states, to describe the deadline for submitting requests for bills and resolutions to be considered during a legislative session.

Committee a division of either of the chambers of a legislature or the Congress entrusted to complete assigned tasks, such as formally reviewing bills and investigating related issues, on behalf of the entire legislature. Committees generally hold hearings and recommend a course of action on a bill to their parent chambers.

Companion Bill a bill introduced in one chamber of a legislature that is identical to another introduced in the other chamber.

Conference Committee a committee comprised of members from each chamber of a legislature or the Congress appointed to reconcile differences between a bill passed by one chamber and an amended version of the same bill passed in the other chamber. Bills that are passed by both chambers with only minor differences are not always sent to a conference committee. In some cases, an informal compromise is forged by the leadership; in other cases, one chamber may “concur� with the other chamber’s amendments, thus completing action on the bill.

Convene to assemble or call together a meeting of a legislature. Legislatures convene daily, weekly, and, depending on the state, annually or biennially. Special sessions of a legislature can be convened by governors or, in some states, by a joint proclamation of the presiding officers of both chambers of a legislature.

Cross Over Day this day is significant in that it is the last day that legislation must pass one chamber in order to be heard by the other.

Enrollment the act of recording or registering a bill. Filibuster a tactic employed to obstruct and delay legislative action by prolonged and often irrelevant speeches delivered on the floor of a legislative chamber. Chamber rules in some legislatures prohibit filibusters.

First Reading a term used to describe the method of introduction of a bill in a legislature. At the time of the first reading, a bill is generally read by title and number only and is referred to a committee for review. Commonly, legislative rules require that bills be read three times, with each reading taking place on a separate day before it is voted upon by the chamber. This provision is intended to prevent the


passage of hasty and ill-considered legislation and to inform the legislators and the public of the contents of the bill. Some state constitutions contain provisions that allowfor the suspension of this rule in emergency situations. (See SECOND READING and THIRD READING.)

Floor a term used to describe a chamber of a legislature and the action occurring in a chamber. Floor is used to distinguish actions taking place in the chamber from actions taking place elsewhere, such as in committee.

General Assembly a term used in some states to refer to the legislature, or to the “lower house” of the legislature.

Governor the elected chief executive official of a state or territory of the United States. Governors serve terms ranging from two to four years and may be limited in the overall number of terms that they may serve. Governors possess legislative approval and veto power, pardon and reprieve powers, the power to call special sessions of a legislature, and numerous other administrative, appointive, and financial powers.

Hearing a procedure conducted by the committee of a legislature during which testimony in support of, or in opposition to, a bill is presented. Hearing witnesses may include experts on the issue addressed by a bill, government officials, and members of the public that are likely to be affected by the enactment of the legislation.

Hopper technically, a box placed on the desk of the leaders or chief clerks of a house or senate chamber into which newbills and resolutions are placed for introduction. Although many of the actual boxes are nowgone, the phrase “in the hopper” is used to indicate that a bill has been submitted for introduction.

House a term used generally to refer to either a house of representatives or a senate.

Introduction the formal presentation of bills, resolutions, and other proposals to a legislature. In most cases, a bill is introduced by means of the ”first reading” and is then assigned to a committee for review. Most states have established introduction deadlines for legislative sessions.

Item Veto a power held by some governors to disapprove certain items or parts of appropriations bills without affecting the other provisions of the legislation. In some states, governors have the authority to reduce the amount of funding granted by an appropriations bill. In a fewstates, governors are permitted to use their item veto power on non-financial bills as well. Also referred to as a “line item veto.”


Legislator an individual elected by voters to represent constituent views in the process of lawmaking as it occurs in state legislatures or the Congress. Legislators are commonly referred to as senators, representatives, assembly members, and/or delegates.

Legislature an assembly or body of elected officials that make statutory laws for a state or the nation.

Lower House a term used to refer to a house of representatives or an assembly. Majority Leader a member of either chamber of a legislature selected by members of the party with the most seats in that chamber, who acts as the majority party’s spokesperson and chief strategist.

Majority Whip a legislator from the majority party of a chamber who monitors party members’ positions on various issues and bills and is charged with the duty of securing party member support for legislation.

Mark Up a procedure by which a bill being considered by a committee or subcommittee is reviewed with special attention paid to the insertion of revisions and amendments. If a bill has been considerably amended, the committee may introduce a newbill, referred to as a committee bill, committee substitute, or amendment in the nature of a substitute, for consideration by an entire legislative chamber.

Minority Leader a member of either chamber of a legislature, selected by members of the party with the lesser amount of seats in that chamber, who acts as the minority party’s spokesperson and chief strategist.

Minority Whip a member of either chamber of a legislature, who is affiliated with the party with the lesser amount of seats in that chamber who monitors party members positions on various issues and bills and is charged with the duty of securing party member support for legislation.

Motion in a legislature, a request by a member to institute parliamentary actions that will affect the operation of the chamber; e.g., a legislator may “move” to consider a bill or to suspend the chamber rules.

Override a process by which a legislature or the Congress may pass a bill that a governor or the president has vetoed. Generally, a two-thirds majority vote in each chamber is needed to override a veto.

Passage favorable action on a bill or proposal by the members of a legislature or the Congress.


Pocket Veto non-approval of a legislative act by a governor or the president within the time limits established for such action with the result that it fails to become law. A pocket veto is not written disapproval, as in the case of an ordinary veto; rather it is the failure of the chief executive to act on it during the time allotted for executive reviewonce a legislature has adjourned.

President of the Senate the presiding officer of the “upper house” of a legislature or the Congress. In the Congress, the Vice President of the United States of America serves as the President of the Senate. In some state legislatures, the lieutenant governor serves as senate president; in other states, the president is a legislator elected by his or her colleagues in the senate.

Quorum The number of members of a legislative body whose presence is necessary for the transaction of business. In the absence of a quorum, the only business that is in order is a motion to adjourn or a motion to direct the appropriate chamber officer to call the absent members to attendance.

Recess a time period in which a legislature or the Congress, while not adjourned, does not meet for legislative business.

Resolution a formal expression of the opinion or will of a legislature or the Congress that is adopted by a vote of the legislature.

Roll Call Vote an action in which legislators register their positions on a particular bill, either by vocal announcement, the method common among senates, or by means of an electronic device, as is the case with most houses or assemblies. The result of a roll call vote is a list containing the names of each voting legislator in a chamber and a record of his or her vote on a given bill or resolution.

Rule in legislative terms, an established standard, guide, or regulation that prescribes or directs the actions or conduct of the members of a legislative chamber.

Second Reading the formal presentation of a bill to the entire chamber of a legislature or the Congress after it has been reviewed by a committee. Although it varies form state to state, many legislatures, like Congress, debate bills and consider amendments after the second reading. (SEE FIRST READING and THIRD READING.)

Session the time period during which a legislature meets. The annual or biennial meeting of the legislature is often called the “regular session.” “Special sessions” may be called by governors or, in some states, chamber leaders. Each day legislative business is conducted may be called the “daily session.” A legislature or the congress may also hold a “joint session,” in which the two chambers are


assembled as a single body. Joint sessions are generally held for state of the state or state of the union addresses and other ceremonial purposes.

Speaker of the House/Assembly the presiding officer of a house of representatives or assembly. Speakers are generally elected each session by the chamber members and are usually members of the chamber’s majority party. Sponsor a title used to describe a legislator who has introduced a bill into a legislature. Sponsor’s names are generally listed first on bills, followed by cosponsors. Also referred to as “author” or “patron.”

Suspension of the Rules a legislative procedure whereby, with consent of the chamber, actions can be taken that would otherwise be considered “out of order.”

Table to suspend consideration of a pending bill or other measure. To “table” a bill or amendment is, in effect, a method of killing a bill before it can be voted upon by an entire chamber of a legislature.

Third Reading the final presentation of a bill to a chamber of a legislature before a vote is taken. Although most legislatures read bills by title only, some read bills in their entirety on the third reading. (SEE FIRST READING and SECOND READING.)

Unicameral literally “one room.” A legislature with one chamber. Nebraska is the only state with a unicameral legislature.

Upper House a term used to describe a senate, especially when compared to a house of representatives or an assembly, the so-called “LowerHouse.”

Veto the refusal of a governor or the president to sign into lawa bill that has been passed by a legislature or the Congress.


For more information about MS advocacy in Virginia, please contact Ashley Chapman, the Statewide Advocacy Manager. Ashley Chapman 4200 Innslake Drive, Suite 301 Glen Allen, VA 23060 ashley.chapman@ T: (804) 591-3048 F: (804) 353-5595


2010 MS Activism Manual-VA  

2010 MS Activism Manual-VA