Who are my Legislators and
How do I Find Them?
You would think it would be easy as pie to look up and contact your lawmakers. But you have to know where to look. Florida doesn't have a "one-stop shop" lookup for all the contact info for your legislators in one place. For some reason, they are very hesitant to give out email addresses, preferring that you "email" them through their contact form. US Senators Rubio and Scott just won't give it out. US Representatives (Congressmen and women) almost never give it out either. Only the lobby tools index listed below, for example, lists actual email addresses for the State Representatives and State Senators by name, but lobby tools doesn't look up your representative for you. But here are several options:
Believe it or not, the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has the most comprehensive lookup I could find! It lists name, email where available, district number, phone number, web/facebook/twitter URLs. Under "show more," you will find both their local (district) office contact info as well as their Capitol office information.
OpenStates.org will look up your House Representative and your State Senator. These are the state legislators who write state laws. Contact info is given for both Reps and Senators. Email addresses are listed only for senators.
Common Cause will look up everyone from your president (hope you already know who that is) down to your local city/county officials. They don't provide email or street addresses, but they list the official's name, phone number, and homepage/facebook/twitter links.
House Lookup. You can also look up your House Representative and send him/her a message through the contact form at the House lookup.
State Senate lookup. You can look up your State Senator and "email" him/her through the Senate lookup and contact form.
Here's an email tip. Once you know your State Rep's or Senator's names, you can email them using the format:
"email@example.com" to email your House Rep, and
"firstname.lastname@example.org to email your state senator.
Lobby Tools Index lists all state senators and house representatives by name. You can look up their full contact information, including email addresses, using this handy tool.
Once I've found them, what do I say?
Once you find your State Representatives and Senators, call them and set up appointments with them in person if at all possible. Tell them to file the ABOLITION OF ABORTION IN FLORIDA ACT to criminalize ALL abortion as murder -- from conception, without exception! No more heartbeat bills, no more regulatory bills. Abortion must be abolished, and any federal or state rulings, opinions, treaties, or laws that permit the murder of preborn humans, or that forbid the protection of preborn humans, will be ignored (federal) or stricken (state).
KEY POINTS TO DRIVE HOME:
1) Every human being is made in the image of God.
2) ALL abortion is murder.
3) It is their DUTY as a magistrate to establish equal justice for all.
4) It is their DUTY as a magistrate to interpose and defy tyrants.
Give him or her some literature to read, or CDs to listen to or watch after you're gone. Follow up your personal visit with an email confirming what you want them to do.
It is as simple as that.
But the Governor doesn't make laws.
What can he do?
Plenty! He can:
1) Announce that Florida is no longer going to tolerate abortion murder at any stage, under any circumstances.
2) Announce that Florida is going to nullify and ignore any and all Federal rulings, laws, court opinions, treaties, directives, etc. that purport to allow abortion or to forbid the banning of abortion.
3) Announce that Florida will not even bother to appear in any federal court that wants to interfere with Florida law, and that any federal official, marshal, etc. who sets foot in Florida in an attempt to interfere with Florida law will be subject to immediate arrest!
4) Announce that he is calling a special session of the House and Senate so that they may file and pass the Abolition of Abortion in Florida Act, and bring all areas of State Law and the State Constitution into compliance with the Act.
5) Announce that the attorney general, every sheriff, every prosecuting attorney, every mayor, who does not comply and cooperate with the abolition of abortion in Florida will be immediately removed from office and replaced under authority of the Governor.
6) NOT back down from items 1 through 5.
Primer: State vs. U.S. Legislators
Both our federal and state governments have three branches:
The Executive Branch is the heads, the bosses, the enforcers. They carry out the laws. The President and state governors are all part of the executive branch.
The Legislative Branch makes laws. That's why we call them "lawmakers." They legislate!
The Judicial Branch consists of Courts and judges. They interpret laws and issue opinions and decisions. There are circuit (state) courts, federal courts, and the notorious Supreme Court, or SCOTUS. As you can see, the courts do NOT make laws!! That is why it is wrong when someone says a SCOTUS ruling is "the law of the land." It isn't. The Constitution is the law of the land. SCOTUS merely interprets it.
Did you know that the Supreme Court can only rule on disputes between the states, disputes between states and the federal government, and other matters as permitted by Congress!! Yes, dears, our US Constitution does not give SCOTUS the power to chime in on just any disputes by citizens against a state or citizens within a state. SCOTUS has given itself that power over the years, and we have let them get away with it!
Florida has both US (federal) and state legislators. Our federal legislators are US Senators (2 per state), and US Representatives, also known as Congressmen (We have 27). These legislators do not make state law, but they represent Florida's interests before the federal government. They can propose federal laws and vote on federal bills. They also vote on things like declaring war, presidential impeachments, etc. They have completely different powers and duties than state legislators.
We also have a statewide legislative body made up of:
an Upper chamber (State Senate), and
a Lower chamber (House of Representatives).
The state legislators are the ones we want to contact in order to keep Florida from murdering its preborn citizens.
How a Bill Becomes a Law
Both chambers must be in agreement on a bill for it to become a state law.
The state is divided into house districts and also into senate districts. Your address determines what your house and senate districts are, and thus who your state legislators are. For example, you might be in House District 10, but Senate District 5. (You also have a US Congressional district, just to make it a little more confusing.....)
The state senators and state representatives are the ones who meet every year in a 60-day legislative session. They write bills that usually get assigned to as many as three different committees for further consideration. In order for a bill to become a law, it usually must pass through committees and be referred to a vote. There may be both a house and senate version of a bill. Often they don't start out identical to each other, and one or both may need to be tweaked in order to become a law.
Once in committee, there are numerous options. A bill can be heard and pass favorably into its next committee. It can be revised or amended. It can even be "fast-tracked" to bypass some or all of the committees. It could also be rejected entirely. Or it can just be completely ignored and never even mentioned throughout the whole session. If the bill passes through all committees, it is then voted on by the entire House (for a house bill, or the entire Senate for a senate bill), and ultimately by both House and Senate chambers. If it passes both chambers, it becomes a proposed law for the Governor to sign. If a bill does not pass any of these hurdles, it simply dies at the end of the 60-day session. Here are some flow charts on how a bill becomes law: