The 2018 AZ Legislature’s opening day is January 8th . It’s time to get active on the RTS system. RTS is the Request to Speak System of the Arizona State Legislature. According to the Arizona Legislature’s website, “the Request To Speak program (RTS) is designed to allow the public to register an opinion on bills listed on agendas and to request to speak on a bill in a committee”.
The Request to Speak system is an online tool that lets you give legislators your feedback on specific bills before they are voted on. You can use the system to show that you support or oppose a bill and provide the reason why. You do not have to physically speak as the name implies. It is one of the easiest ways to share your opinions directly with legislators. Both the Arizona Senate and the House of Representatives have standing committees where bills are evaluated before moving forward. These committees meet regularly and bills are added to upcoming agendas each week for discussion. Once a bill has been added to an agenda, the general public is able to provide comments through the Request to Speak system. The legislators read these comments and they become part of the public record.
For those who are new to RTS, LD18 Democrats provides lots of help with getting signed up and training in how to use RTS. Look for info on our website at https://ld18democrats.org/portfolio/speak/
You are required to come to the capitol the first time you use the RTS system. When you come to the Capitol, you can create an account and sign in on one of the Kiosks in either the House or Senate (there is also a Kiosk available in the Tucson office). If you can’t make it to the capitol, we do have some LD18 Democrats volunteers who will be happy to help you.
Once the legislature is in session, it can be daunting to keep up with every new bill but there are some wonderful resources that can assist you.
Cathy Sigmond, LD18’s Waggoner Precinct Captain and new Tempe Neighborhood Team Captain, works with the group Civic Engagement Beyond Voting. This group trains citizens on RTS and will go to the capitol and log new people in. They also provide resources to follow legislation, including the Legislature Weekly (Iyer Report).
For those of you who are familiar with RTS, we need your participation. RTS is a great tool to use our voice in helping to share Arizona’s public policy. Official Instructions for the RTS system can be found at: https://www.azleg.gov/alisPDFs/RTS_Manual_public.pdf