At each level of government, regardless of where you live, the process for enacting legislation is relatively the same. Someone has an idea for a new law or decides that changes should be made to an existing law. The bill is drafted and introduced to the legislature. Then, the issue is debated and may eventually come to a vote. Finally, if a bill is passed, it either becomes law or is vetoed.

Tracking Federal Legislation

To find and track federal legislation, go to: https://www.congress.gov.  There, you can look up a bill if you already know the number or you can search for bills by keyword. For example, if you type in “hearing aid” and click “Search,” you will find any legislation related to hearing aids. Once you find the proposed bills you would like to follow, you should keep a document or spreadsheet where you keep track and then visit the site often for updates.

Tracking State Legislation

To find your state legislature’s website, visit: http://www.llsdc.org/state-leg/. Each state varies a bit in how it organizes its legislative information. Most websites, however, have a search function so that you can find bills of interest to you. Another resource on statewide legislation may be your state office or commission of the deaf and hard of hearing.

If you do not have internet access, you can contact your state legislature’s office or go to a local library for help.

Tracking Local Legislation

Tracking local legislation is similar to tracking state legislation. Locate the website for your local government and then look for “legislation,” “county council,” or something similar. Most local governments post the ordinances they’ve voted on in the past, as well as an agenda for upcoming votes.

Again, if you do not have internet access, you can contact your local government’s office or go to a local library for help.