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Dear Michigan Capitol Confidential,

Thank you for your insightful and helpful publication. I am wondering if it is possible to include bills that will be coming up for a vote so we readers may contact [legislators] to let them know our views.

I am particularly interested in HB5100. I know it has gone through the House, but is there still time to contact the Senate before they take it up for a vote? Has it already been voted on?

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Thank you,

Karen Kruske

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Ms. Kruske:

Thank your for your kind words and your questions.

As of a week after the Jan/Feb 2008 issue of Michigan Capitol Confidential was mailed to your home, the state Senate had not yet taken up House Bill 5100. So, in that instance, there was still time to let members of the Senate know your thoughts about the bill before they voted on it.

But be advised that while we publish every two months, either chamber of the legislature can move many bills from inactive to final passage within hours. If you have an opinion on a bill that you wish to share, then my advice as a former legislative staff person would be that you not be deterred from contacting your lawmaker merely because the legislation has already been voted on. There will doubtlessly be other bills on similar subjects in the future, and it is helpful for your lawmakers to know whether you agree or disagree with their decisions.

Always remember: They work for YOU!

To get timely information about the status of all bills before the state Legislature, I strongly recommend checking out our free website, www.Michiganvotes.org.

Finally, we provide in every issue the office contact information for all 148 state legislators. These pages also provide contact info for websites that will help you identify which lawmakers represent you.

Thank you for your interest in Michigan Capitol Confidential.

Ken Braun
Senior Managing Editor

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"How do you use Michigan Capitol Confidential? Please let us know!"

MiCapCon@mackinac.org


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Why we give Party Affiliations:
The Legislature is managed as a partisan institution. Lawmakers segregate themselves by party in matters from daily meetings to seating. They have separate and taxpayer-financed policy staffs to provide them with research and advice from differing perspectives. As such, gaining a full understanding of the vote of an individual lawmaker requires knowing his or her partisan affiliation.

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