Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature

TISL is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) educational corporation chartered by the State of Tennessee.
©2006 et seq. Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Lobbyists Try to Persuade Legislators

TISL's lobbying program adds another realistic aspect to the TISL General Assembly.

Lobbyists from five associations attempt to influence student senators and representatives for or against legislation.

Rules & Regulations

Lobbyists will conduct themselves in accordance with the Standards of Conduct of the Tennessee Lobbyists Association.

Lobbyists may not provide food, drink or any personal benefit to legislators, judges or TISL officers. They may not provide gifts.


Each lobbying association will have a client and a CEO.


The client will be a TISL alumnus who has graduated or a professional lobbyist.


The CEO will be an experienced TISL delegate selected by the Executive Council.

Lobbying Techniques

Here are strategies and tactics you can use to be an effective lobbyist:

  • Create an account at freeconferencecall.com so that your firm can meet by phone before arriving in Nashville.
  • Create a texting account at GroupMe.com to help your firm can communicate at the General Assembly.
  • Assign firm members to specific tasks
  • Research for information to support and oppose bills.
  • Prepare one-page information sheets about bills or issues that you can distribute to legislators. You must use your own resources to copy these, and they must have a statement about who produced them. (Example: "This information sheet prepared and produced by ____ lobbying firm.")
  • Collect phone numbers from senators and representatives who support your bill(s) so that you can text them during debate with facts and strategy.
  • Amend or compromise to improve bills your firm doesn't like.
  • Testify at committees for or against bills.
  • Identify and invite outside experts to testify at committees.
  • Persuade the Governor to sign or veto bills.
  • Persuade the Governor's cabinet to support or oppose bills.
  • Provide talking points to legislators to use in debate.
  • Visit the Senate and House floors to communicate with legislators. See the Sergeant at Arms for a floor pass.


How do I become a lobbyist?
Choose a lobbying association and join it when you register online or at the General Assembly.

Can lobbyists serve in the Senate or House?

Who can't be a lobbyist?

Can AMC3 lawyers be lobbyists?
Yes; it is encouraged.

How many of my school's delegates can be lobbyists?

May lobbyists testify before committees?
Lobbyists may not serve on legislative committees, but they may testify before committees with committee approval.

May lobbyists speak on the floor of the Senate or House?
No. Lobbyists are never allowed to speak on the floor of the Senate or House during session.

Who runs the lobbying associations?
The Executive Council will choose experienced delegates to be CEOs of the firms. The CEO will help the firm organize and stay on track.

After that, we encourage including everyone in making decisions about the firm's legislative agenda and strategy.

Are there awards for lobbyists?
Yes. On Saturday, each lobbying association will nominate one of its members as Best Lobbyist. On Sunday morning, all of the lobbyists will vote to choose the Best Lobbyist. The winner will be announced at the closing session of the General Assembly.

Lobbying Firms 2015






Business Tennessee

Strongly believes in free market economics without much concern for social issues.

Bigger profits for business

Opportunities to create new businesses

Smaller government


Improved education

Higher taxes, especially on business

Regulation and laws limiting business freedom

Customers and employees with guns at the business

Might work with Labor on bills that will expand the economy, such as recruiting new industry.

Might work with teachers on gun legislation.

Might support cost-effective green legislation.

Tennessee Health Care Professionals

Organized Labor

Primarily concerned with advancing the economic interests of its members and, secondarily, for working people in general. Takes an expansive view of improving workers' lives, including environmental issues and public schools.

Improved wages and benefits

Reduced limits on forming unions

Safer working conditions and improved care for injured workers

Improved public education

Pollution that endangers its members, especially on the job

Higher taxes on lower- and middle-income workers

Supports cleaner environment but not at the expense of jobs.

Pro-education and pro-organizing make for a natural alliance with Teachers.

Tennessee Teachers

Represents teachers on issues such as higher salaries, better benefits and negotiating rights. Sees itself as a primary defender of quality public education.

More money for education

Labor organizing for teachers

Lower teacher:pupil ratios

Privatizing education


Charter schools

Guns at school

Everyone claims to be pro-education, but how much are they willing to pay and how? Strategic alliances might yield results.

Tennessee Gun Association

Ardent defenders of citizens' right to bear arms.

Second Amendment

Restrictions on guns, ammunition or hunting

Appeal to the libertarian in everyone.

Tennessee Law Enforcement

Represents law enforcement officials such as police and sheriff's departments

TISLonline.org Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature