HOW TO TESTIFY
Testimony is a Powerful Way to Get Your Message Heard
Public hearings are how legislators get input from the public on bills up for consideration, and testimony is your chance to weigh in on issues that are important to you. Anyone can testify either in writing or in person as long as they follow the guidelines. In-person testimony is the most effective but legislators also read written testimony to gather input.
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How it Works
Instructions on how to submit testimony for public hearings are posted in the online Connecticut General Assembly Bulletin. Click “public hearings” in the top navigation. The instructions tell you how to submit written testimony, how to sign up to testify in person, and how to view the public hearing online.
Use your browser’s “find” feature and enter a committee name or search term to jump to the hearing you’re looking for.
Testifying in Person
The instructions provide a link to an online testimony registration form. You’ll receive a confirmation email with a Zoom link if the hearing is virtual, and a room number and meeting time if it is in person.
The deadline for registering for in person testimony is typically 3 PM the day before the hearing. The order of testimony is typically posted at 6 AM the day of the hearing. Be sure to read the instructions for specific deadlines.
Submitting Written Testimony
The instructions provide an email address that you can use to submit your testimony. Be sure to follow the instructions on how to submit.
Written testimony can be submitted at any time.
Tips for Preparing Testimony
- Be authentic: Legislators receive a lot of form letters, so providing a personal story about why the issue is important to you will catch the attention of your legislators and make your testimony more memorable.
- Be specific: Legislators want to know the scale of the issue. Use statistics when possible to illustrate the problem at hand and how the bill could impact the sector.
- Keep it short: Best practice is to keep testimony between 3 and 5 minutes. Spend your time focusing on a short list of the most important talking points and emphasize their importance.
Check out this excellent resource from Gallo & Robinson to help you prepare for delivering public testimony.
The Connecticut General Assembly website has an excellent resource on testifying.