How to Submit Testimony to the Maryland General Assembly

2020 Legislative Session – Procedure for Submitting Written Testimony

The below explanation was provided by Mark Posner of the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club.

The following procedures govern the submission of written testimony to all subject-matter
committees in the Senate and House. The procedures are identical for all committees, with a
few small variations indicated below. (The procedures for Senate Rules, Senate Executive
Nominations, and House Rules and Executive Nominations may differ; check with that
committee.)

  • Written testimony is accepted only on the hearing day. Written testimony may not be
    submitted before then.
  • Written testimony – for all hearings other than budget hearings in B&T and APP – must
    be submitted in person at the committee office, by: 1) uploading it to a committee
    computer from a flash drive (testimony may not be emailed to the committee); and 2)
    bringing a written copy of the testimony (all committees require just one copy, except
    EHEA which requires three copies). Written testimony for budget hearings in B&T and
    APP may still involve submitting multiple written copies – check with the committees.
  • Before arriving at the committee office: save testimony in PDF format to a flash drive,
    and make a written copy for the committee, or three for EHEA. Note: preferably use a
    flash drive with nothing else on it to facilitate the virus-check (see below). Note: you
    may want to name the document using the following title bill# – organization – position
    on the bill – your name, although that is apparently not required.
  • When to submit: 9 am to noon for all committees other than B&T and APP; at least one
    hour before hearings for B&T and APP. Note: this process may result in lines so it is
    better to arrive early, and avoid arriving after 11:30.
  • At the committee office – step 1: sign up on the electronic witness sign-up screen
    outside the committee room; an email address is required. (This sign-up is now required
    for written-only testimony, in addition to oral or oral/written testimony.)
  • At the committee office – step 2: in the committee room or office, give your flash drive
    to staff who will scan it for viruses; once it passes, you will be directed to another
    computer where you will follow prompts to upload your testimony (the upload will use
    the email address you entered on the electronic sign-up screen). Note: if your flash
    drive fails the virus check, committee staff will scan your hard copy to upload the
    testimony to the computer system.
  • As in prior sessions, the first page of all written testimony must recite the bill number and bill
    name, the name of the individual or organization submitting the testimony, and the position on
    the bill (Support, Support with Amendments, or Opposed).

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