As we all begin to navigate the upcoming virtual legislative session, I wanted to provide you with the resources to ensure your voice is heard. Though COVID-19 has closed the State Capitol and Legislative Office Building to the public, you can still testify and participate in public hearings from your home.
Below, I have outlined the steps to testify at a public hearing:
- Review the bulletin daily and check to see which committees are having public hearings.
- Use the “On-line Testimony Registration Form” link in the notice to register to testify. You can also call the number listed if you do not have access to the internet.
*Make sure you have noted the bill or resolution number(s) you plan to testify on because you will need that to complete the form.
- If you’re registering online, you’ll be taken to the Webinar registration page for the hearing at which you would like to testify. Make sure to review the details of the hearing closely to confirm that you are registering for the correct hearing.
- You will need to scroll down to find the registration form. The form requests the same information that committee staff would ask you if you were signing up to testify in-person.
- Once you submit the form, you’ll receive a pending approval notice to the email address you included in the form. Make sure to keep the information in this notice handy.
- Within 24 hours, after you have registered to testify, you will receive an email confirming that you have signed up for the hearing. If you need to cancel, there is the “cancel” link in the bottom left corner.
*Please note that there is a deadline to register to testify. You can find the exact time and date that registration closes for a particular hearing listed in the bulletin.
- On the morning of the hearing, a speaker list will be generated and posted on the committee page. Go to “Public Hearings” and click “testimony” and select the hearing date. In the right corner, there will be a document labeled “Speaker Order.” Click to open and find your placement.
- Make sure to log onto Zoom before the hearing starts and turn off camera/microphone until it is your turn. You will have to wait to speak as if you are sitting in a hearing room.
- You can monitor every public hearing this session in real-time on each committee's official Youtube channel (accessible at cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/broadcastmedia.asp under the "CGA Live Streaming Feeds" heading). Some public hearings are also broadcast live on CT-N.
You have the ability to affect change through testimony at public hearings. I hope that everyone will use the resource outlined above to share your stories. Lawmakers are looking forward to hearing your voice.
As always, if you are not interested in testifying, but you have a story to be told, please contact me at Kara.Rochelle@cga.ct.gov so I may advocate on your behalf.