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The government relations industry has changed significantly over the last year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 2021 will pose major challenges for the success of many state government affairs programs. Not only will state legislatures be grappling with an entirely new set of issues addressing pandemic response, government affairs professionals won’t be able to travel to states to meet with lawmakers in person in the same way we used to. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to planning for next year, but MultiState is here to help.

We created a 2021 Session Prep Checklist and Toolkit to help you think through four major areas that are important to the success of your government affairs program. The content follows the checklist linked in the button above, and each part delves into a different aspect of state government affairs strategic planning. 

Part 1: Defining Your Big Picture

Before you can create a government affairs plan, you have to define your core issues, priority states, and consider your resources. Although you may have had a great playbook in the past, will it still work in 2021? In Part 1, we help you think through what issues are important to your organization, define your objectives, and make sure you have the tools to track activity and follow compliance rules.

Click here to read Part 1, "Here’s What State Government Affairs Pros Need to Do Before January." 

Part 2: Considering the Political Landscape

While not the Democratic sweep many pollsters were predicting, the 2020 elections still resulted in some changes to supermajorities, trifectas, and perhaps most importantly, committee chairs and legislative leaders. In Part 2, we walk you through the main aspects of states’ political landscapes, plus how to think through a stakeholder analysis to identify your allies and potential obstacles.

Click here to read Part 2, "Prepping for 2021, Part 2: Considering the Political Landscape."

Part 3: Policy Preparedness

A variety of competing issues will vie for lawmakers’ attention in 2021: state budget complications, the potential for new taxes, and pandemic response — plus other prominent issues such as police reform, privacy policy, and redistricting, among others. In Part 3, we give you an overview of major issues we expect to see in the 2021 state sessions so you’ll have all the context you need. 

Click here to read Part 3, "Here are the Policy Issues You Need to Watch in 2021." 

Part 4: Logistics in the New Normal

Doing your government affairs job in 2021 will likely look a lot different than it did before — how can you prepare? In Part 4, we go over session dates, travel restrictions, and limitations on access to legislative and other buildings that could prevent you from meeting face-to-face with lawmakers. Additionally, one of the most important logistical pieces in our business is compliance — we cover how to think through lobbying compliance in the new normal.

Click here to read Part 4, "Lobbying Logistics in the New Normal: Everything You Need to Prep for 2021."