The California Legislature may seem daunting, but armed with a simple understanding of the legislative process, you can become an effective lobbyist almost overnight. The resources on this page provide the basic information you need to succeed in personal visits and letter writing.
Each year, the CFT sponsors several bills. Ideas for legislation may come from a number of sources, but typically members communicate their ideas through CFT governance meetings and resolutions at Convention and State Council. Once the CFT adopts a sponsored bill program, staff lobbyists work to secure legislators who will author the bills, and see the bills through the legislative process and onto the governor’s desk.
But legislators need to hear from you too! It’s important for legislators to hear about your first-hand experiences at work. Your testimony may be key to a bill’s success.
How to Lobby Successfully at the Capitol and at Home
We encourage you to meet with legislators during our union-sponsored Lobby Days at the State Capitol and in their district offices. Learn the basic protocol quickly with these concise tip sheets prepared by the CFT Legislative Department.
Know the Assembly, Senate & Session Calendar
Find daily updates from the state Assembly, committee hearing schedules, and get to know California’s 80 assemblymembers,
Find daily Senate updates, committee hearing schedules, and get to know California’s 40 senators.
Legislative Calendar and Deadlines prepared by the California Assembly.
Making Sense of the Legislative Process
The Legislative Process, A Citizen’s Guide to Participation is prepared by the California Senate. Learn how legislative bills get named, how to decode bill prefixes, how the committees of the Legislature work, and so much more.
Use the go-to site (known as “leginfo”) for finding the language of a bill, amendments, and tracking a bill’s progress through the Legislature. This site also contains California government codes, including the Education Code.
of Legislative Terms
Use this “definitive guide” to legislative terminology prepared by the California Legislature.
Find reports from the Legislative Analyst’s Office (commonly referred to as the LAO) which provides nonpartisan fiscal and policy advice to the state Legislature.