Testifying before a Committee of the Maine State Legislature
Consider yourself and your testimony an information source. Legislators have limited time, staff, and interest on any one issue. They can’t be as informed as they might like on all issues—or the ones that concern you. YOU can fill the information gap.
Tell the truth. There is no faster way to lose your credibility than to give misleading information to legislators. Don’t exaggerate.
Provide your personal experiences. Let the legislators know how you personally have been or will be impacted by the issue.
Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know something. If a legislator asks something you don’t know, acknowledge that and then offer to get the information they are looking for.
Don’t burn any bridges. It is very easy to get emotional over issues you feel very strongly about. However, be sure that no matter what the Committee’s reaction to your testimony; end the testimony in a way good enough that you can go back to them. Remember that your strongest opponents on one issue may be your strongest ally on another.
If you intend to testify in person before the Committee hearing on a bill you are interested in, please bring 20 copies of your written testimony with you to the hearing.
- Procedures at specific hearings may vary at the discretion of the Committee.
- Your will be asked to sign in before testifying.
- Spoken testimony may be limited by a time limit (for example, 3 minutes)
- Bills being considered may by considered individually or in groups if there are several covering similar subject matters. Your spoken testimony should be given in the appropriate block and only once per block. You may submit written testimony for each bill separately.
If you intend to testify by Zoom or to submit written testimony, go to mainelegislature.org/testimony and click on PUBLIC HEARING.
- You may sign up to testify electronically (Zoom) or submit written testimony as soon as the bill is scheduled for a public hearing.
- To testify electronically (Zoom), register AT LEAST 30 MINUTES before the posted time of the meeting; registrations after that time will be accepted at the discretion of the committee chairs.
- Testimony received after the day of the public hearing will be distributed to committee members and staff, but it will not be published online.
- Testimony will be publicly available online as soon as possible after the day of the hearing.
- Your name and organization you represent or the town in which you live, as specified by you on the testimony submission form, will accompany the publishing of your testimony. Please include your name and organization or town of residence on any documents accompanying the submission form.
- Choose the Committee conducting the public hearing.
- Choose the date of the hearing.
- Choose a Bill.
- Enter all requested information in the Testimony submission form displayed.
- If you wish to upload a file with or as your testimony such as a Word or PDF document, click the CHOOSE FILE button or enter your testimony in the box provided.
- Click on the “I’m not a robot” box.
- Click Submit/Register.