Public Hearing Process

A committee may consider several bills during a legislative day, usually in the afternoon.  The committee chairperson determines the order in which bills will be heard, the rules for testifying and whether there will be a time limit on your testimony.  The length of time spent on each bill varies and depends largely on the number of people testifying, the length of their testimony and the number of questions asked by committee members.

Usually, unless otherwise indicated, hearings begin at 1:30 p.m.  Each bill is presented by the senator who sponsors it.  After the sponsoring senator finishes his or her introduction, the committee chair typically will ask proponents of the bill to come forward individually and state their reasons for supporting the measure.  Then, the chair will ask the bill's opponents to come forward and state their opinions.  Often, committee chairpersons will allow individuals to testify in a neutral capacity.

If you want to testify before the committee, you will need to fill out the sign-in sheet at the witness table, orally identify yourself and spell your last name for the record, and state who, if anyone, you represent as you begin your testimony.  It is important to remember that committee proceedings are transcribed verbatim.

Letters or written communications containing support, opposition or neutral testimony also are accepted by committees during a bill's public hearing.  Persons wishing to send written information should address their correspondence to the office of the senator who chairs the committee and ensure that the information arrives before the hearing.

 

 

 

 

 
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