The Legislative Committee coordinates the networking, advising, advocating, and collaborating on state and national legislative issues impacting students. Colorado PTA continues to be an integral part of the education advocacy scene at the State Legislature. PTA takes positions on legislation dealing with children’s education, health, and well-being, and PTA volunteers provide testimony in legislative committees. See the link at the right titled “Colorado PTA Bill Positions for 2018” for information about the bills we are following.
The Colorado PTA Legislative Committee meets at 6:30 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month during the Legislative session (January to April) and on the 2nd Mondays the rest of the year. Your Advocacy Liaison, as well as local unit leaders, will receive information about the issues PTA is focusing on. Everyone is welcome to attend our Legislative Committee meetings! As you know, your members are automatically members of Colorado PTA and National PTA, and we want to ensure that your membership has every opportunity to receive all information and benefits that PTA provides. We thank you for your commitment to PTA and to your membership, and we look forward to your advocacy partnership this year!
The Legislative Committee consists of members appointed by the Public Policy Director with the approval of the Colorado PTA President. Every effort is made to include at least three (3) people from each of the Colorado PTA Regions. These people can include any of the following:
Any PTA member who attends regularly and participates actively
Region Directors and Council Presidents and/or their Legislative Chairs
The COPTA Federal Legislative Chair
Any interested PTA member may attend the Legislative Committee meetings and participate in the discussions. However, they will not be considered a voting member until they have attended three (3) meetings and have received the approval of the Public Policy Director.
Colorado PTA bylaws state that 2 unexcused absences from a committee meeting shall constitute a resignation. Participating via video or teleconference is considered as being in attendance.
What are the functions of the Legislative Committee?
Networking of information on state and national legislative issues and PTA’s positions, and making this information available to the local units.
Advocating on PTA’s positions to our state and federal legislators and to the general public.
Advising the Public Policy Director about positions to be recommended to the Board of Directors on issues not covered by national or state platforms and resolutions.
Collaborating with other like-minded organizations for the purpose of advocacy on issues of importance to PTA.
How does the Legislative Committee operate?
Meetings of the full committee are held on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month from January through May, 6:30-9:00 p.m. Meetings are held only on the 2nd Monday of the month from June through December, 6:30-8:30 p.m., unless scheduled otherwise.
Meeting agendas may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Standing reports: Federal Legislative Chair, advocacy initiatives, and progress on priority initiatives.
Discussing proposed legislative to determine COPTA’s position on bills.
Strategic planning for advocacy efforts.
Reviewing resolutions or positions being proposed by the Resolutions Committee.
Training for Legislative Committee members.
Ad hoc subcommittees may be formed for tasks including, but not limited to:
Planning the annual COPTA Legislative Conference.
Updating the resolutions book and platform, and recommending new resolutions.
Researching specific proposed legislation.
How are votes conducted?
When it becomes necessary for the Legislative Committee to vote on a position recommended for adoption by COPTA, the vote is based on a quorum of attending committee members in good standing (see above). The quorum shall be a minimum of 7 people from at least 3 different regions, with a simple majority being required to pass the vote.
With the school board elections and potential ballot initiatives, it’s important you and your members are aware of the laws around what your PTA can and cannot do. 1) PTAs CANNOT support/endorse/oppose candidates. This is IRS law. If your PTA endorses a candidate you not only jeopardize your PTA’s non-profit status but the non-profit status of every PTA in Colorado. 2) PTAs CAN support or oppose ballot issues. If your PTA wishes to take a position to support or oppose a ballot initiative you must have a majority vote of your membership (not just your Board) and you must give your membership fair notice that the vote will take place (7-10 days). 501(c)(3) Status and Law. Because PTA is a 501c3 non-profit corporation, the IRS does not allow PTA to support candidates. It is legal for PTAs to inform voters of an election and list ALL the candidates who are running. PTAs may hold candidate forums, as long as ALL candidates are invited. Advocating for an Initiative. Colorado PTA prefers that local units help ballot issue campaigns by providing volunteer assistance with such things as literature distribution, yard signs, phone calling, etc., rather than making monetary contributions. Voter registration drives are encouraged. Campaign Donations. The IRS does not allow local units to contribute more than “an insubstantial amount” of their gross revenue to ballot issue campaigns or lobbying. This is generally viewed as being between 2% and 5% of gross revenue. (Please note that this refers to the total amount given to all ballot issues and lobbying throughout the year.) Because all local units are part of the Colorado...