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How ASAM’s Small Government Affairs Team Acts on Multiple Key State & Federal Issues

American Society of Addiction Medicine

Learn how this medical society educates and engages members about a wide variety of national and state issues using FiscalNote solutions.

FiscalNote solutions for The American Society of Addiction Medicine

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The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) is the country’s leading addiction medicine society, representing over 6,000 physicians and clinicians who specialize in the prevention and treatment of addiction. Founded in 1954, ASAM is dedicated to increasing access and improving the quality of addiction treatment, educating physicians and the public, and supporting addiction research and prevention. 

ASAM follows federal and state issues, making FiscalNote an essential tool for the society’s small government affairs team to keep track of it all. Key state issues the team monitors include telemedicine, harm reduction efforts, and parity regulation and enforcement. The team also currently follows critical federal legislation such as the Medicaid Reentry Act, Substance Use Disorder/Opioid Workforce Acts, the STOP Fentanyl Act, and the MATE and MAT Acts. 

Report: The Biggest Issues Facing State Legislators in 2022

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Tools That Let a Small Team Make a Big Impact

ASAM’s small government affairs team is smart about using technology to automate as many tasks as possible to tackle all its tasks.

Keys to Digital Advocacy

ASAM leverages FiscalNote’s flagship digital advocacy tool, VoterVoice, to help advocates electronically engage with Congress on the federal issues they care about the most, “which traditionally they haven’t had as an option,” said Kelly Corredor, chief advocacy officer at ASAM. “Our advocates feel it’s been useful to keep apprised of key federal legislation and to communicate with the Hill throughout the year.” 

Corredor often uses VoterVoice’s “find key legislation” feature to update advocates on the federal bills ASAM is supporting. She also uses CQ Federal to stay on top of where things stand with relevant federal matters at any given moment and keep advocates informed. “CQ Federal is good about alerting us to federal activities in real-time,” she said. 

State Tracking Made Simple

Daily alerts from FiscalNote State about new bills and updates on existing legislation help Corey Barton, ASAM’s associate director of advocacy and government relations, stay informed. Providing support and educational materials to each of the 39 state chapters is a daunting task, since “each state has its own set of priorities,” Barton explained. “So what Florida cares about may not be what Michigan cares about, and vice versa. The state chapters are independent organizations, often with small to no paid staff, so it’s helpful when we are able to provide them with educational assistance and share bills that are of interest to them.” 

FiscalNote’s tracking and analysis help ASAM know which issues to highlight for state chapters. “We really appreciate the analysis piece that FiscalNote provides, giving us a breakdown about whether legislation is expected to pass,” Barton said. “That helps us decide how best to educate a chapter about the bill’s prospects and the level of engagement expected in order for the bill to pass.” 

Other FiscalNote tools that are integral to ASAM’s strategy are the “committee composition” function for state-level committees, which provides information on committee members. “When a bill advances to a specific committee in a state legislature, I can go in and look at the committee and all the information that’s available, which is very helpful,” said Parker Baird, policy specialist of state advocacy at ASAM. 

The FiscalNote tool allows a very small team to show that we can be very on top of things happening at any time, all across the nation. Our members know that they have support, backup, and institutional knowledge.

Kelly Corredor, Chief Advocacy Officer
American Society of Addiction Medicine

A 360-Degree Approach

“FiscalNote is involved in basically all the stages of our state advocacy process,” Baird said. He often uses FiscalNote’s “actions” feature to log state chapter activity, from members testifying at a committee hearing to a chapter sending a letter in support or opposition of a piece of legislation, making sure the team is on the same page. “It’s a good way for us to keep track of when a state chapter has decided to engage on a bill,” he said. “It allows us to log a lot of activity, and that can be very useful to cross-reference.” 

FiscalNote provides ASAM with updates on what is going on at the state level, sometimes even before leaders of the state chapters have heard about it. “Prior to having FiscalNote, we didn’t have a service that allowed us to keep track of legislative and regulatory developments so efficiently,” Barton said. 

For example, Barton recently relied on FiscalNote’s legislative tracking capabilities while waiting for legislation to be signed that would expand access to treatment in carceral settings in one state. “The bill was held up, and FiscalNote was really helpful in giving us updates of what was going on with it,” he said. “Expanding addiction treatment in carceral settings has been a top national priority for ASAM, so the fact that some of the state chapters are supporting it at the state level is something that we love to see.” 

Advocacy at your fingertips

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Enhancing Member Engagement & Advocacy

As a membership organization with many independent state chapters, ASAM also views FiscalNote as a member benefit for its state chapters. “They don’t always have the resources to keep track of everything, so the fact that they have the ASAM national office monitoring and helping educate is a great member service,” Corredor said.

Having access to this information can be critical to state chapters across the country. “The ability to quickly send pertinent information on a specific bill of interest to them, with chances of passage, sponsors, and what committee it will fall under — that’s very helpful information to some of the state chapters,” Baird said. 

The ability to quickly send pertinent information on a specific bill of interest to them, with chances of passage, sponsors, and what committee it will fall under — that’s very helpful information to some of the state chapters.

Parker Baird, Policy Specialist
American Society of Addiction Medicine

Equipping Stakeholders

The tool doesn’t just help track legislation a state chapter is a proponent of, “it’s also been helpful in helping us identify legislation that a state chapter opposes,” Barton said. For example, the organization closely tracked the movement of a recent bill in Louisiana that would have hampered Good Samaritan protections. FiscalNote’s legislative tracking allowed Barton to follow the bill’s progress and educate members of the state chapter.

VoterVoice played a role in helping engage federal advocates during ASAM’s recent Virtual Advocacy Day, Corredor said. The event featured back-to-back virtual meetings on Capitol Hill, and members who weren’t able to participate in those meetings were still able to take part through VoterVoice actions. “It provided another tool we could use to enhance our national advocacy conference,” Corredor said. 

On that day, ASAM advocates sent hundreds of messages to Congress regarding strengthening the addiction treatment workforce and passing the Medicaid Reentry Act. “That’s pretty good uptake for busy clinicians during a workday,” Corredor said. 

FiscalNote had a big role in energizing advocates during ASAM’s first State Advocacy Summit, which the organization held this year. “Our members definitely appreciated being able to come together and share about the efforts that have been successful in different states,” Barton said. FiscalNote allowed them to look back at the actions state chapters had taken on particular bills over the last year, serving as “a central repository where we document all the actions they’ve taken,” Barton said. 

Building a Successful Advocacy Strategy with Cutting-Edge Technology

“The FiscalNote tool allows a very small team to show that we can be very on top of things happening at any time, all across the nation,” Corredor said. “Our members know that they have support, backup, and institutional knowledge. They can email us, and we can find the answer.” 

From tracking developments and staying up to date on legislation and regulations with FiscalNote and CQ to mobilizing federal advocates and managing virtual events using VoterVoice, the FiscalNote suite of products helps government affairs and advocacy teams of all sizes build a successful and comprehensive strategy.

How are you staying on top of the 150,000+ bills introduced in the states this year?

FiscalNote State allows organizations to monitor state legislation and regulations. Learn how FiscalNote can help you manage your state-level issues.

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