Now that LB1030 is set for a hearing on Monday, February 6th, it is more crucial than ever that the members of the Transportation & Telecommunications Committee see how important it is to the citizens of Nebraska that this bill advances to the floor of the Legislature and becomes a law. It’s also important that we show our gratitude to Senator Hansen for introducing the bill.
With that in mind, here are some tips from the Unicameral’s site on preparing to testify.
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.
- Be aware that sometimes the sponsor of a bill will offer amendments when he or she presents the bill to the committee. These proposed amendments may change the way you feel about the bill and, thus, affect your testimony.
- Be prepared to limit your testimony and try not to repeat testimony offered by previous witnesses. Remember that while senators want to hear what you have to say, there are numerous witnesses who also want to be heard.
- Be prepared to answer questions asked by committee members.
- Most observers agree that, as a witness, you will be more effective in getting your message across if you have prepared your testimony in writing. If you do this, it is helpful to bring enough copies to distribute to all committee members, the two committee staff members, media and the transcribers’ office. Fifteen copies is usually enough to accomplish this. If written testimony is lengthy, it can be distributed and summarized orally to conserve the committee’s time.
- Addressing committee members or witnesses from the audience, public demonstrations and applause are prohibited.
- You should not be offended if senators come and go during a hearing. They have other commitments, including the presentation of bills in other committees that are meeting simultaneously.
- If auxiliary aids or reasonable accommodations are needed for you to attend a hearing, please call the Office of the Clerk of the Legislature, (402) 471-2271, or if you have a hearing or speech impairment, please call the Ombudsman’s Office at (402) 471-2035 or 800-742-7690. Advance notice of seven days is needed when requesting an interpreter.
If you are unable to attend the hearing — which is probably the case for many — please consider submitting written testimony. Make your voice heard!