The California Legislature may seem daunting, but armed with a
simple understanding of the legislative process, you can become
an effective member lobbyist almost overnight. Our
legislators need to hear from you!
Each year, the CFT sponsors several legislative bills. Ideas for legislation may come from a number of sources, but typically members communicate their issues through CFT governance meetings and resolutions passed by 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.
Legislators need to hear from you! It’s important for them to hear about your first-hand experiences at work. Your testimony may be key to a bill’s success. The resources here provide the information you need to succeed in personal visits with your legislators and letter writing.
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 Legislative Calendar
Legislative Calendar and Deadlines prepared by the California Assembly.
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.
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 (simply 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.
The California budget is created from a multi-faceted process that takes place in the first half of each calendar year. CFT is an active participant in the process because public school and community college districts receive two-thirds of their funding from the state, and decisions made by state legislators set the stage for those made by district governing boards.
While the CFT legislative staff works hard to promote legislation on behalf of members, your presence in the halls of the Legislature gives a human face to the CFT and our fight for high-quality education. The CFT provides numerous opportunities for you to meet with state legislators one-on-one and share your experiences from the workplace.