The Arizona Psychological Association (AzPA) promotes legislative and governmental action to advance the interests of psychology, psychologists and the public in Arizona. Legislative and regulatory trends are followed, legislative activity is monitored, and advocacy efforts are employed to support those interests. The Legislative Committee of the Association coordinates activities in this arena in accordance with the policies and directives of the Association’s Governing Council.
The Association tracks the activities of the legislature and governmental entities to determine general trends regarding issues related to AzPA’s interests. These trends reflect the ideas and efforts of policy makers over time and suggest areas in which information or advocacy may be needed. Observation of trends allows AzPA to prepare members and policy makers for policy changes that may be pursued by the AzPA or others in the future.
Over 1000 bills are introduced in the legislature each year. Many bills include proposed changes in the law that affect issues related to psychology and may have a positive or negative impact on the public. AzPA’s Legislative Committee reviews these bills for content of interest to AzPA. The Legislative Committee may recommend that AzPA support or oppose proposed legislation as appropriate. Throughout the legislative session, bills are monitored with consideration given to whether any action is needed. When needed, AzPA members, other involved parties, or professional lobbyists may be called upon to contact legislators to provide information.
When the Association determines that changes in law or administrative policy are warranted, those changes may be pursued. Legislators or other policy makers may be contacted to discuss proposed changes, and strategies for achieving the desired changes are developed. As a result, proposed legislation, or other policy initiatives, may be generated.
Each year the Association sponsors a Politics and Psychology Day at the Arizona Legislature. Attendees are provided information regarding the legislative process, advocacy and current legislation. Legislators are invited to have lunch with the participants to discuss areas of mutual interest.
The Key Constituent Psychologist project is the foundation of AzPA’s grassroots program. Key psychologists are identified in each of the State’s thirty legislative districts and serve as liaisons for legislative advocacy between AzPA and its member psychologists living within those districts.