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We've got 2020 vision

 

New Voices 2020 is off and running! Legislatures across the country are now in session, and New Voices advocates aren’t wasting any time making their voices heard. Whether your legislature meets for thirty days or the next twelve months, January is the perfect time to start meeting with your legislators, planning your lobby or advocacy days and putting your testimony in writing. Consider hosting a press conference to announce the introduction of New Voices legislation and highlight stories showing why the bill is critical in your state.

Report from the states 


Nebraska
Nebraska ran right back into action when the full legislature voted on Jan. 14 to approve LB206. This “general file” vote is widely viewed as the most crucial and difficult stage of the process. Just two more votes stand between LB206 and the governor’s desk.

New Jersey
New Jersey celebrated a great success when the state senate unanimously approved  S1176 on Jan. 13, the final day of their 2018-2019 legislative session. The Assembly failed to move on the bill before the session ended, but the next session began on Jan. 14 and new legislation (A169/S108) has already been filed.

Virginia

Censorship of student news media in Virginia and how New Voices addresses it were profiled on Jan. 12 in The Washington Post and highlighted on WAMU's The KoJo Nnamdi Show on Jan. 16. HB36 and companion bill SB80 have been introduced. HB36 has been referred to the House Education committee. The companion Senate bill, SB80 has been referred to the Senate Education and Health committee. 


Don’t forget to send us the things you’re proud of this month!

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Resources and announcements:


January Webinar - Planning your testimony

Not sure your story matters? Need help figuring out what to say? Nervous about testifying in a committee hearing, or your legislature doesn’t have committee hearings? We’ve got a webinar for that. Our first webinar of the year will take place Thursday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. EST

This webinar will be recorded—please email Hillary at hdavis@splc.org for a copy. To join the webinar click below:

Webinar

Pro tip:

Many state legislatures provide “bill trackers,” “lobbyist-in-a-box” or other automated services that e-mail you when your bill has a change in status. These should not replace checking in with your sponsor or regularly checking your bill’s status, but can provide peace of mind during this busy time of year. Check your state legislature’s website for more information.

Model bill

Don’t start your legislation from scratch - check out our new model bill, the “Student Press Freedom Restoration Act,” here. An annotated version explaining the language in detail is available here.

FAQ

With a new legislative year comes new messaging; check out our updated FAQs for answers to common questions and arguments about New Voices and student press freedom. Is there a question missing? Let us know here.

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Forward it to anyone you know who is interested in New Voices, and ask them to sign up themselves here.

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