Did you know that lobbyists spent almost 3.5 billion dollars to influence legislation in 2019? That number only increases every year as more and more people fight to have their voices heard in the government.
You may be thinking, how do lobbyists influence legislators? Here are some of the most important ways that successful lobbying contributes to the legislative process overall.
Explain the Real-World Impact of Policies
Although legislators write the laws that need to pass, they often do not have a good view of how the law will affect real people. Being heavily involved in government can sometimes serve as insulation from the outside world.
Lobbyists often gather information about how the policy will affect certain groups and present it to lawmakers. With this information, politicians will have a better understanding of the bill from a different point of view.
Hold Meetings with Elected Officials
Legislators are often busy with committee meetings, campaign events, and other commitments. If you are a private citizen, it can be difficult to schedule a one-on-one meeting with a lawmaker to discuss policy.
However, lobbying has a unique advantage, and groups serve as a middleman between people and politicians. They form relationships with politicians and have access in ways that the general public does not know about.
Lobbyists meet with people at networking events, private dinners, or even over coffee. A famous lobbyist might have access to high-profile political events. They can talk to people who have a high profile in government.
Advocate for Large Groups
Most lobbyists work for companies, single-issue groups, or even other government agencies. Calling or writing letters to elected officials can be effective, but sometimes it is better for them to meet with lobbyists who can speak for the entire group.
For example, rather than speaking with hundreds of teachers’ unions to influence policy, it may be more effective for legislators to meet with a small group of lobbyists.
Track the Legislative Process
Following a bill or policy until it becomes a law can be time-consuming and confusing. Often, the bill has to go through a lot of obstacles before it makes it to the floor for a vote.
Successful lobbying includes knowing where a bill is in the legislative process and trying to predict the outcome. Lobbyists know which committees and subcommittees a bill has to pass through. Sometimes they will even work with lawmakers to write a draft of the bill before it goes to a committee for approval.
How do Lobbyists Influence Legislators?
Lobbyists are a critical part of the process when it comes to passing legislation and policies for government agencies. With this guide, you no longer have to ask yourself, “How do lobbyists influence legislators?”