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How to Make Your Voice Heard

Posted on February 17, 2021 by wroddy


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This year’s legislative session is shaping up to be different from any other, with lawmakers confronting the ongoing COVID pandemic and major issues like taxation, healthcare, and public spending. Over 2,000 bills have already been introduced in this session alone, and the ongoing public hearing process allows anyone to testify on any bill and share how they think it will affect them.

Testifying in person and giving your state’s elected officials your feedback is incredibly important to the political process. While the legislature may be operating virtually this session, that does not mean that we should be any less accessible to you.

I wanted to clarify the new process for testifying at public hearings on Zoom and share with you how you can stay up-to-date with all these bills and upcoming hearings.

I would also encourage you to sign up for my email newsletter on my homepage, as I use it to provide updates on legislative business.

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How to Testify

There are two ways to present your testimony:

(1) Testify live via Zoom during the public hearing (most impactful!)

It is a multi-step process to sign-up for public hearings:

  1. Go to the Connecticut General Assembly website: www.cga.ct.gov
  2. On the top menu, click “Session Items,” then “Bulletins,” then select the most recent Bulletin; this will open a multi-page online document.
  3. Scroll to the section titled “Public Hearings: Notice to Members of the Public” for a listing of Committee Names, Dates, and Links.

PLEASE NOTE: Each Committee has a unique “On-line Testimony Registration Form” and its own unique email address for written testimony. Make sure to include the bill or resolution number(s) you plan to testify on, and please note the exact date and time of the registration deadline.

  1. Click “On-line Testimony Registration Form”to open a Zoom webinar registration page. Fill out the form which requests the same information that committee staff would ask you if you were testifying in-person.
  2. Within 24 hours, after you have registered to testify, you will receive an email confirmation. Save this email – it has a unique link just for you. If you need to cancel, please use the “cancel” link.
  3. On the morning of the hearing, a speaker list will be generated and posted on the specific committee page. Go to www.cga.ct.gov, click “Committees,” then “Public Hearings,” then “Testimony.” Click on the appropriate “Hearing Date,” then “Speaker Order” to find your name.
  4. Please log into the Zoom hearing before it starts and turn off/mute your camera/microphone until it is your turn to speak.
  5. You can monitor public hearings in real-time on each committee’s official YouTube channel. https://cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/broadcastmedia.asp. Some hearings are also broadcast live on CT-N.

PLEASE NOTE:  The first hour of public hearings are typically reserved for “state officials,” after which members of the public will be able to address the committee. Speakers are limited to three minutes.  Afterwards, members of the committee may ask questions regarding your testimony.

(2) Submit written testimony to the committee via email

  1. Send to the unique committee-specific email address listed in the Bulletin (see steps a, b, c above for directions).
  2. In the subject line, write: “SUPPORT” or “OPPOSED” and the corresponding bill number.
  3. Include your name and town.

***All testimony, written or verbal, will become public record. For a list of this week’s public hearings, please reference the “CGA Schedule Events” calendar on the CGA homepage.