One of the most important points of engagement during the policy process occurs at the committee level. When a bill is in committee, any person who wishes may submit written and/or oral testimony in support of, or in opposition to the proposed legislation.
Note *** LWVO lobby corps members who wish to submit testimony on behalf of the League MUST submit their testimony to the LWVO office and to the chair of the LWVO Advocacy Committee, whereby it will be approved and sent from there. *** Please start the process early enough to allow for review and possible revisions. If that is not possible because of timing of committee hearing, please mark the email as needing immediate consideration.
Step-by-Step Guide for Oral Testimony
HOW TO SUBMIT TESTIMONY: (Follow procedure on the witness template, but let Nazek know that you will be attending the committee meeting and presenting your testimony.)
1.) Email your testimony to the Committee Chair’s office – whether you are testifying in person or not.
Try to email your testimony at least 24 hours ahead of time, though that won’t always be possible. If it’s not possible, at least email the Committee chair’s office to let them know that you want to testify, but need additional time to finalize your testimony.
LWVO Members must email their testimony to Nazek, who will approve it and forward it to the Committee Chair. Committee Chairs need the testimony 24 hours ahead of time, so please submit testimony to Nazek at least 48 hours ahead of time.
2.) Bring a printed copy with you to read in front of the committee (you do not have to read your testimony word for word).
3.) Also bring a few additional copies in case an ally, reporter, or lawmaker who is not on the committee would like a copy.
REMEMBER: You will need to submit/email your testimony with a WITNESS SLIP. Nazek will fill this out for LWVO Members. Those are available for download on the “How Things Work at the Ohio Statehouse” Facebook page – Files section.
You can also email the committee chair’s office and ask for one.
AFTER YOU ARE FINISHED SPEAKING:
Legislators may ask you questions.
They are more likely to ask questions if you provide data/statistics or present yourself as having professional experience related to the bill. This can be awesome! But be prepared to back up your testimony!
It's perfectly fine to not know the answer to the question in the moment! Confirm to them that you have taken down their question and will return to them as soon as possible with an answer.