In previous blog posts, we discussed how to communicate with lawmakers. It is just as important to understand the ins and outs of state agencies.
State agencies are part of the executive branch and have tremendous power in the lawmaking process. These groups develop policy and help the governor make budget decisions and recommendations. Because these agencies are so specialized, they offer detailed information on legislation.
According to California Globe, “administrative agencies of state government are often important players in public policy development both as it relates to pending legislation being considered by the Legislature and, ultimately, to a determination by the Governor. For example, by influencing pending legislation that impacts their jurisdiction (such as air quality by the California Air Resources Board), interest groups, the Legislature, and the Governor are influenced by the views of these state agencies on bills.”
From the Minnesota Board on Aging to the Minnesota Zoo, there is an agency, board or commission for a plethora of interests in Minnesota. Understanding which groups your cause may fit into is a crucial part of your government relations work.
Tips on how to work with state agencies:
- Identify agencies and individuals within them that could help your organization. This will help you continue your reach into the legislature.
- Use these agencies to help support your organization by gathering information and data from them.
- Attempt to get your proposal included in the governor’s budget recommendations.
- If there is legislation that harms your organization, talk to agencies to see what they may be able to do to help and show them how it harms you.
- Know the governor’s view on issues relating to that agency so you can adjust your approach when representing your organization.
It is essential for lobbyists and citizens to understand the important role that state agencies play in the executive branch and in the legislature as a whole. By knowing the ins and outs of state agencies, you are setting up your organization for a successful government relations strategy.