22 Apr New method to submit testimony on bills – and it’s easy!
The Legislative Information Office has launched a new form for submitting testimony on bills.
You they must choose the committee, the date, and the bill or bills, then choose what file (Word, PDF, or plain text) to submit that contains your testimony, or enter the text into the textbox on the screen, add your contact information, assert your humanity (not a robot) and click the ‘Submit Testimony’ button.
It’s pretty easy, but I suggest that before submitting testimony through this link, you should gather these pieces of info:
1. Committee that is reviewing the legislation
2. Day of the public hearing
3. LD number/name of the bill
All of these can be found on the LD summary page which can be located through a search:
Here: http://legislature.maine.gov/ (includes a lot of great resources)
A big note is a reminder that if you do not submit testimony by the date of the public hearing, you may still submit it anyway. Committee members will still receive it, it just won’t be added to the website that posts all of the testimony given at the hearing. You should submit testimony prior to the work session to have impact (this can be found on the LD summary page. Sometimes these happen soon after the hearing and sometimes there could be many weeks between.)
Suit Up Maine has shared some additional information that they learned from conversations with the director of that office:
🔹 Legislative committee clerks are experiencing a record-high number of submitted testimonies this legislative session (which is GREAT news!). Some clerks have arrived in the morning to find 1,000 emails awaiting their review. It can take them all day to go through them and forward testimony to the committee and to those who post the documents to the website and compile all public records for each bill.
🔹 This new form will automate that process, getting testimony to committee members more quickly. Testimony will be added to the website within 48 hours of submission.
🔹 Under the new system, constituents have until midnight the day of a bill’s public hearing to submit testimony for inclusion on the website. The old system required testimony be emailed before the day of the hearing to be included on the website.
🔹 All testimony submitted for a bill, regardless of when it is submitted, is shared with committee members and included in the public record. Meeting that midnight deadline just ensures your testimony will appear on the website.
🔹 After Monday, April 22, anyone who submits testimony by email to a committee clerk will receive a reply alerting them that they should instead submit their testimony via the new form. [editor’s note- we have heard that emails will still be accepted because the change is happening so late in the session, but the online submission process is the preferred method.]
🔹 This new process only applies to submitting bill testimony. It does not preclude any constituent from emailing with committee members or their own legislators.
For more information, contact the Legislative Information Office at 207-287-1692 or 1-800-301-3178.
Resources for how to testify: http://legislature.maine.gov/house/house/Documents/Testifying