How to Testify for Bills Remotely
With committee hearings now virtual, bill testimony must be completed via Zoom
1. Create an account
Before submitting written testimony or signing up to testify remotely, you must create an account by going to the Hawaii state legislature's website (capitol.hawaii.gov). By creating an account, you not only can submit testimony online, but also sign up for hearing notifications and create a measure tracking list.
On the homepage of the website, you can click "Register" on the top right corner. Then fill out the required fields (ex. name, email) and click "Create User" at the bottom. After doing so, you will receive a confirmation email. Check your email and click the link to confirm your account.
If you already have an account, you do not need to create a new one as you can submit testimony through that account by signing back in.
2. Submit testimony online and/or request to testify remotely via Zoom
To submit testimony online, click on the mail icon titled "Testimony" in the center of the home page. Then enter the bill number you want to submit testimony for and click on the "Get Hearing" button. You will be directed to a form where you can write your testimony. On the form you can specify whether you are only submitting written testimony or both written and via Zoom.
Fill out the form, and upload your testimony by clicking on the "Choose File" button or by typing your testimony into the "testimony/comments" box. Written testimony is required even if you are testifying remotely. Then click "Submit" at the top of the page.
If you have requested to remotely testify (and your testimony is accepted by the committee chair), three hours before the hearing begins, a "Join" button will appear in the "Your Testimony" page.
Important note: Strict deadlines apply for testifying. If you want to testify or submit testimony, you must do so 24 hour prior to the hearing. If you do not, your testimony will be considered "late testimony," and the committee chair can choose whether or not to hear it.
3. Testifying remotely after requesting
Sign into your Hawaii State Legislature account 20-30 minutes before the hearing is scheduled to start. Click the orange "Testimony" button, and click the "Join" button in the "Your Testimony" page. When you join the Zoom call, make sure to do the following:
Change your Zoom name to the same first and last time you provided on the testimony form;
Keep the "Chat" panel open;
Keep your microphone muted and video off until it is your turn to testify.
Right before it is your turn to testify, you will receive a request to share your video. When the Chair calls on you, unmute your microphone and address the committee.
Test your audio and video before joining the meeting;
Check beforehand that your internet connection is working;
Turn off or minimize any background noises;
Be conscious about what is visible in the background of your camera;
Check the "Chat" panel frequently when in the meeting.
If you have any questions about the testimony process or need assistance, call 808-587-0478 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.