Legislative Session 2009: You Contacted Your Legislators

by jhwygirl

The July issue of The Interim came out a while back. It contained lots of stuff – go read it – but one bit of information I found interesting was the statistic roundup by the Legislative Services Division.

The 2009 session saw 1,314 bills introduced, which is the least amount in a legislative session since (at least) 2003.

How many telephone and web messages did that amount of legislation produce? 21,221 telephone messages resulting in 125,000 printed messages. That is more telephone messages than any previous year going back to the 2003 session.

How many web messages? 73,895 web messages were processed by the Session Information Desk – again, more than any other year previous going back to the 2003 session.

With 90 days in the session, that is a crazy amount of calls and web messages to process.

Not only did the Legislative Services Division do an astounding job gathering these messages and getting them out to the floor, they were gosh darn pleasant about it, and very helpful every time I gave them a call about matters related to the web site itself.

But Montanans deserve a huge KUDOS too, for participation in this past legislative session’s process. YOU called – YOU wrote – YOU emailed. In numbers larger than ever before.

So pat yourself on the back….and sign up for notification of future The Interim newsletters and any and all interim committee hearings. Keep informed. Our legislators are already at it with interim committee meetings. I’ve been slacking on that end – but that doesn’t make for an easy excuse for you.

We all have a responsibility to follow-through after pulling that lever in November. Sitting back and leaving those legislators to their own devises is not what democracy is about.

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  1. Rep. Mike Miller, HD84

    I personally received 817 phone messages and 312 Internet messages, along with an unknown number (400+?) of email messages. I would estimate I spent at least 1-2 hours each evening on correspondence. The messages are an excellent way for the public to let their Legislators know how they stand on an issue. They do get read and we sometimes compare notes with fellow Legislators – like “have you received any messages in favor of (or against) this bill”? I say, keep them coming!

  2. Pronghorn

    I personally feel like I SENT 400 of those messages…it became a daily grind. Get up, drink coffee, feed the 4-leggeds, contact the legislators. Horse slaughter, gravel pits, death penalty…another day, another issue. Many thanks are due to you, also, jhwygirl, for keeping us so well informed and making it a bit easier for us to do the grunt work of democracy. Thank you. And thanks to the conscientious legislators (this certainly does not apply to all of them) who answered their e-mails–I heard back from several, and not necessarily my own.

    • Thank you, Pronghorn – even if you wrote only 4 letters and I made just a few of them easier to write with the links and stuff, that makes me feel good. Of the dozens of posts I did with all of that info and links and emails, few got even one comment, so I have often wondered what affect they had. Did people write? Did they call? Did they email?

      Thanks. Now I know that answer.




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