Updated Committee Testifying Guidelines
January 26th, 2021
Option 1: In-Person Testimony
As always, persons attending a public hearing in person will have an opportunity to present verbal testimony to the committee and be subject to questioning by the committee members. In-person testimony is generally limited to 5 minutes, although the chair of each committee has the discretion to modify that time limit.
Persons verbally testifying will be listed as a testifier on the committee statement as has been the practice, and have their position included within the official committee hearing record.
Option 2: Written Testimony In Lieu of In-Person Testimony
The intent of this option is to create a substitute for those who are concerned about safety by testifying in person but wish to have their testimony submitted, their name recorded on the committee statement, and included in the formal committee hearing record as if they had testified in person. Please note that the committee statement will note that the testimony was provided in writing with no opportunity for the committee members to question the testifier.
In order to take advantage of this option, the following four requirements must be met:
- Submission of written testimony will only be accepted the day of the hearing between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. in the committee room in which the hearing is scheduled.
- Individuals must present their written testimony in person during this time frame and sign the submitted written testimony record at the time of submission on the day of the hearing on the bill.
- The testifier must submit 12 copies. Failure to submit the required number of copies will result in the treatment of the submission as a position letter and not written testimony.
- The written testimony must be a written statement that is no longer than 2 single-spaced, typed pages or 4 double-spaced, typed pages in length.
- Only the written testimony from the person delivering the testimony will be accepted. No handouts, testimony, or letters from other individuals may be included outside of an individual’s written testimony.
- Written testimony will be handed out to each member of the committee during the hearing and made available as part of the hearing transcript when the transcript is made public.
Failure to meet all of these procedures for submitted written testimony will result in the person providing the testimony to not be listed on the committee statement as a written testifier, however, the testimony will be included in the official hearing record as an exhibit.
Option 3: Position Letter
If you are not testifying in person on a bill or resolution, or submitting written testimony in person on a bill (Option 2), but would like to submit a position letter to be included in the official hearing record as an exhibit, you must deliver your letter to the office of the committee chair or email it to the committee’s email account by 12:00 p.m. CST on the last workday prior to the public hearing.
Letters emailed (and not hand-delivered) will not be included as part of the public hearing record if sent to any email other than the committee’s email account. A list of these emails is included below.
Your letter must identify the bill or resolution, include your name and address, state a position of for, against, or neutral, on the bill in question and include a request for the letter to be included as part of the public hearing record.
Please note that mass communications will also not be included as part of the official hearing record as an exhibit regardless of delivery time or requests to have the communication included.
Option 4: Online Database
A new feature has been added to the Nebraska Legislature’s website for submission of written statements on pending legislation on the Legislature’s website at any stage of the bill's process. (To access this feature, search for the bill you wish to submit a statement on and click the corresponding button near the top of the bill page.)
These submissions will not be considered testimony or part of the public hearing record, but the submitted statements will be available on the UniNet for access by senators and staff throughout the session. Please note, there should be no expectation of privacy regarding comments submitted in this format. If a citizen uses the database to submit their views prior to the public hearing on a bill or resolution, this option will allow input to the members of the committee prior to any committee votes.
Each committee has been assigned a new committee email. If you are submitting written testimony or a position letter, your testimony must be sent to one of the emails listed here to be included in the record.