The policy issues facing state legislators are varied and complex. For that reason, lawmakers often rely on their staff, researchers, experts in the field, lobbyists, practitioners and community members to gather information and develop policies that address a need or respond to an opportunity, such as new federal funds.
Legislators have access to research through legislative staff or research organizations such as the National Conference of State Legislatures. They also rely, however, on experts in the field—people like you—for information and firsthand perspectives about the effects of laws and public funding of oral health programs.
This guide is designed to:
- Help oral health professionals and directors understand how state legislatures work and how state legislators gather information and develop policies related to oral health.
- Identify how people outside the state capitol—specifically, local oral health providers or members of community-based organizations—can communicate effectively with their elected leaders and provide constructive input through the legislative process.
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