Activism requires human action. Many armchair activists fall into the relative comfort of keyboard warfare on social media platforms. With great fervency and zeal, they take controversial positions and make provocative statements, defending their viewpoints by arguing incessantly with people who were never going to be swayed from the beginning. Most of us know folks like this. Some of us might even be these folks on occasion.

I mean, I get it. I understand the importance of messaging. We want to communicate and spread the tenets, principles and philosophies we so passionately believe. We feel a sense of obligation to message on behalf of liberty It becomes easy to get sucked into discussions and debates. Admittedly, there’s a small chance you might help a wayward friend get “woke.” In reality, there is a higher probability that you’ll only walk away with elevated blood pressure.

If you have a passion for activism, don’t allow it to get lost the comment thread wasteland of social media. Instead, try inserting yourself into an issue that you care deeply about at the state or local level.

Local and state arenas are prime hunting grounds for us to affect the most change and push back against oversized, overreaching government. This is where we can influence state governments to ignore or nullify unconstitutional federal laws. Evidence of this has recently been demonstrated in some of the advances made with regard to marijuana and warrantless surveillance.

In order to obtain the kind of change we desire, it will require more than online debate. It will require actual human involvement. It will mean taking the passion and dedication we demonstrate online and joining them with tangible effort, work and planning in order to move the dial toward liberty. Accordingly, there are some tools that need to employ to achieve real results, including moving bills through state legislatures. To do that, we need to understand how legislation becomes law.

By saying “how a bill becomes a law,” I’m not referring to the classic  Schoolhouse Rock cartoon. I’m talking about having an intimate, working knowledge of the legislative process. 

You will find similarities from state to state, however, there are some procedural variations from one state to the next. In what follows, I will provide a general overview of how state legislative processes function. It is my hope that this overview can be a useful tool to those who hope to apply the wonders of nullification in their own home state.

Legislation – A Bill Isn’t Always Just A Bill.

A bill is a proposal for enacting a new law, amending an existing law, repealing of existing law, or for the appropriation of public money. Other types of bills include resolutions and legislation initiates the process to amend the state constitution. 

A resolution is a formal legislative document expressing the opinion or sentiment of one or both legislative chambers. Resolutions generally don’t carry the force of law and in many states do not require the signature of the governor.

Each state has its own process for enacting constitutional amendments.

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor…

Bills start as ideas. Bill language can come from businesses, lobbyists, special interest groups, constituents, or from the legislators themselves.