I am going to give you some tips about testifying on bills in Olympia, and you must prepare today if you plan on testifying tomorrow. But first, here is a reminder to everyone about signing up for the firearms hearings.
SB 5078, a bill banning sale of high cap magazines is being heard tomorrow morning (the 25th) at 9:30 am in the Law and Justice Committee. Here is a link to the bill report, if you want to learn about what it does. http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2021-22/Pdf/Bill%20Reports/Senate/5078%20SBA%20LAW%2021.pdf?q=20210124081431
SB 5038 is being heard on Tues, the 26th. That bill will ban open carry during demonstrations and at the State Capitol. The bill report has not yet been posted, but here is a link to the actual bill. http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2021-22/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Bills/5038.pdf?q=20210124081842
Here are detailed instructions on signing up to testify and for signing in pro or con without testimony. The title of my post talks about the hearing on the 25th, but the instructions will work for any bill. https://lewiscountyrepublicans.org/2a-amendment-supporters-need-to-take-action-before-jan-25th/
Now for the tips and hints.
- They will cut you off after 1 minute without even a warning, so write down your testimony and practice it! You may be nervous, and that would make any of us be a bit slower in our delivery, so practice is necessary.
- The first sentence in your testimony must be “Thank you, Mr. Chair. For the record my name is …(ex: Ruth Peterson) and I am representing …… (I would personally say representing “myself and my family” or “all law-abiding gun owners that I know in my community” or something like that. Of course, if you are part of an organization or own a store, you might wish to represent that).
- Make sure all the points most important to you are made at the very beginning. If you are slower than you practiced, it is likely that you won’t get in the last couple sentences, so make sure the most important is up front.
- The Chair, Senator Pedersen, runs the committee and has total control over who gets to testify. Senator Dhingra is Vice Chair and will have the job of calling out names of people for testimony. When they call your name, you need to be ready to hit the video and unmute button on your zoom session. If you have never done a zoom meeting before, I would suggest you and your buddies set one up today and practice. You will only have a few seconds before they pass over you entirely. While that makes me unhappy that people are left out just because they don’t know how to use zoom quickly, I can somewhat understand the dilemma. They will have a thousand people wanting to testify. If they have to wait 2 minutes for someone to figure out how to unmute. Many others will lose their ability to weigh in. So be ready with your unmute button – it’s critical. Having a zoom meeting beforehand is good for making sure your microphone and camera work, as well. I know I always appreciate having time to call one of my kids to come fix my technology if something isn’t working! 😊
Finally, if you want to see a sample hearing, you can go to this one. Click on the link and then drag the bar to about 56 minutes into the hearing. I set it up to cue at the right place, but for some reason, TVW’s cuing mechanism is either not working or I did something wrong – both are equally likely!