Your guide to having your voice heard in the 2021 WA State Legislative Session

By JASON MERCIER  | 
Jan 14, 2021
BLOG

How do you make your voice heard in the current legislative session? This is your guide.

The 2021 Legislative Session is officially underway. Along with tracking the session by following the WPC blog and our legislative website, Washingtonvotes.org, remote testimony is now available on every bill for all public hearings in both the House and Senate. As you will recall, remote testimony is a long-time WPC recommendation and the process that has been set up by the legislature is incredibly easy to use. You can use the free bill tracking services provided at Washingtonvotes.org to learn more about what bills have been scheduled for public hearings and when, and even what bills have been introduced based on your area of interest, the status of bills, how to communicate with your legislator, etc.

Here are the pages you can use to provide remote testimony:

· House remote testimony sign in https://washingtonpolicy.us15.list-manage.com/track/click...

· Senate remote testimony sign in https://washingtonpolicy.us15.list-manage.com/track/click...

On those pages you’ll see dropdown menus. Simply pick the committee and the date of the bill hearing and then pick how you want to provide testimony.

A few important things to remember:

  • “Testimony registration will close 1 hour before the start time of the hearing. Anyone who does not register before this deadline will be unable to testify before the committee.”
  • “Ensure your registration information is accurate. It will be a part of the legislative record and used by TVW for online and television graphics.”
  • “You may participate via videoconference or phone.”
  • “Registering to testify does not guarantee you a chance to speak or speak at specific times. Time constraints, technical issues, changes to committee schedules, etc. could affect your ability to testify.”
  • “The committee Chair may limit public testimony to as little as one minute per testifier because of time constraints. Be prepared to testify at any point during the hearing.”
  • Providing written testimony is also available but: “Written testimony will close 24 hours after the start time of the hearing.”

With historic debates taking place and key WPC issues before the legislature this session, the timing is perfect for this important citizen legislative access reform. It is now up to you as WPC supporters to take advantage of this opportunity to participate and help shape the laws that will govern us. Let your voice be heard and please let us know if you have questions about this new way to engage with the legislature!