“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” – Thomas Jefferson
Concerned about pending legislation? Want to have your “say”? Your options are public, remote, and written expression. The latter is easy. Anyone on a computer connected to the internet can use the Legislature’s web-form to submit testimony.
The Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS), provides detailed instruction about how to look up bills, follow their progress in committees, who is on the committees, and how to submit testimony in support of or opposition to bills.
For written testimony: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/citizen_engagement/Pages/Submit-Exhibits.aspx. There is a 5-minute video, guiding through the steps of the process. The video narrator explains the steps very well. Sadly, there isn’t a “full-screen” viewing option. However, scroll further down the page (below the video) for better screen-prints of each step the tutor refers to.
On each of the above pages, there is a list of instruction options under the left-hand column headed Engage, such as How to Testify Remotely, Submit Written Testimony, and Find Bills, so you can also search out more instructions without retyping web addresses.
For oral testimony (remotely, or in-person if/when permitted) pull up the PDF for complete instructions. https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/lpro/Publications/How-to-Testify.pdf. The instruction is three pages covering written and in-person testimony.
For the current day’s session, enter: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1. The “Meetings Today” drop-down shows all committees that are scheduled. Their agendas are available by clicking on the icon at the end of the committee’s name. Review the summaries for each bill. If the summary doesn’t provide all the information you need for commenting, click on the bill number to take you to the information page for that bill. Click on the bill number again for the full text. The selections Overview/Text/Analysis/Amendments and Testimony show other information. This is also one place to choose to ‘follow’ the bill.
Go back to the Committee Agenda page and scroll down to Submit written testimony and click on the link for submitting testimony(ies). On the page that opens, chose the bill(s) you wish to address. Each must be addressed individually, but after submitting commentary, there is an option to submit comment on another of that Committee’s bills. As noted in the video, there are buttons for ‘support’, ‘oppose’, neutral. Check one, and click on the text box (space to write). Perhaps use opening phrase like, “I write in opposition to. . .” or “I write in support of. . .” that confirms your position. State your concerns. Ask the committee to pass or kill the Bill. A suggested ending is, “Thank you”.
Note that a screen will open with a confirmation of your submission after you have pressed the submit key.
Just below Submit written testimony is instruction for live remote testimony and where allowed, public (in-person) testimony.
Bills, Votes, Committees,and Legislative History