If you’ve been keeping up with anything happening in Austin, you’ll know that some of the newest proposed legislation is…interesting.
There are multiple ways to let your representatives know where you stand on an issue, protests, marches, calling your representatives, signing petitions, and one avenue that doesn’t seem as well known: dropping cards.
Here is your beginner guide to card dropping:
What is card dropping?
Dropping a card means officially registering your stance on a specific piece of legislation without testifying. You have the ability to tell the people who represent you if you support or oppose whatever legislation is being heard. Keep in mind, dropping a card can only happen when a committee is actively hearing a bill. Dropping a card logs your stance on a bill and is submitted to the official bill record. Yours, and all other stances on the bill record, move with the bill as it moves through the Legislature for representatives to review and take into consideration when they place a vote on a bill. When a representative sees that the majority of the people they represent feel a certain way about a piece of legislation, the hope is that they will vote in accordance with what they want.
How do I drop a card?
- Get to the Capital
1201 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701
- Log on to Capital wifi
In Texas, Dropping a Card must be done on Capitol grounds through a laptop or tablet while being connected to the free Public Capitol WiFi. The wifi extends outside so you do not have to actually enter the Capital. You are not able to drop a card using your cell phone.
- Go to House or Senate Witness Registration Page
- House bills (HB ##): http://hwrs.house.state.tx.us/
- Senate Bills (SB ##): http://swrs.senate.state.tx.us/
Legislation can be heard in either the Senate or the House, if there is a specific piece of legislation you want to declare your stance for, figure out where it’s being heard.
- Click “begin” on the bottom right corner
- Search for the Bill
You’ll see a page full of committee hearings happening on this day, be sure to click “Select” on the item you’re looking for.
- If you don’t know what committee your bill is being heard in you can select “Find a Bill”
- Select “Page Down” if you do not see the bill you’re looking to register a position for.
- Agenda Item Selection
Once you find the committee or bill, click the “Register” button next to that item.
A pop-up window will appear.
- Make a selection based on:
Select “Against” if it’s a bill you’re opposing; select “For” if it’s a bill you’re supporting
Be sure you select “Testify” if you plan to speak about the bill or select “Not Testify” if you just want to submit your position and don’t want to speak (aka “Drop a Card”).
- Confirm your selections
- You should see your stance in the blue button for the particular bill
- Select “Next”
- Add Contact Info
- Enter all of your contact information
- Select “Next”
- State your Representation (If you have any)
- Unless you have explicit permission to represent an organization, pick “No.”
- It will ask for your occupation, so put whatever you identify with best
(e.g. Student, parent, teacher, counselor, etc.)
Click on the box to acknowledge
That’s it! Happy card dropping!
All information was compiled from bit.ly/DropACard