Bookmark This Cheatsheet for Submitting Testimony in #MDGA21

It’s not breaking news, but testimony will be given virtually this year for those involved in Maryland’s 90 days of law-making. This post serves as an easy index for everything you need to submit testimony in 2021.

The information covered in this post is subject to change at any time. We’ll update it to the best of our abilities, but PLEASE double-check on the MGA site itself – witness and testimony guidelines can be found on the individual committee pages indexed below.

SKIP THE TEXT – GET THE CHART


myMGA ACCOUNT

Anyone submitting testimony – oral/written/both/letter of info – must have an individual myMGA account. There does not seem to be a way to have an organizational account to submit testimony for multiple staffers within an organization, but we’ll update this post if we learn otherwise.

The MGA has put out several helpful video tutorials for the myMGA platform, but we definitely recommend these:

You’ll need to set up an account and confirm your account via a link sent to your email. If you already have an account, be sure to go in and edit it to include your contact info, especially your organization name.* Once your account is set up, you’ll be able to go into your account, click Witness Signup, and proceed through the options there to sign up for a hearing.

*including your organization name is important because some committees will pick witnesses based on their organizational affiliation and the constituent representation that organization provides.


STREAMING HEARINGS – YOUTUBE AND ZOOM

Hearings will be streamed via YouTube. Witnesses giving oral testimony will participate through a Zoom link. Witnesses can listen along to the hearing in YouTube and join the Zoom waiting room, but when you’re let into the hearing, CLOSE (not just minimize, CLOSE) THE YOUTUBE WINDOW IMMEDIATELY. This is very important – if you leave up the YouTube window once you’re unmuted in Zoom, there will be audio feedback and it will be annoying. An annoyed audience is not a receptive audience.

Download Zoom in advance.

Senate YouTube Links: B&T | EHE | FIN | JPR

House YouTube Links: APP | ECM | ENT |HGO |JUD | W&M


WITNESS TESTIMONY GUIDELINES

The Senate Committees are following the same general guidelines. Several of the House Committees have their own processes, but most stuck with the general guidelines for that chamber. These processes may change with no notice, so please double-check each Committee’s specific requirements on the MGA page.

You can view those Committee specifications at the links below:

SENATE COMMITTEES

Witness Guidelines: B&T | EHE | FIN | JPR

HOUSE COMMITTEES

Witness Guidelines:
As of this writing, the following committees are using the general
HOUSE COMMITTEE GUIDELINES:
**procedures may change with no notice, so we recommend checking their committee pages (linked below) to be sure they are still using the House guidelines**
APP | ECM | ENT

These House committees have their own specific guidelines:
HGO | JUD | W&M


TESTIMONY SUBMISSION DEADLINES

Very new this year is the two-business-day deadline for submitting testimony. Annapolis veterans are used to submitting testimony up to a couple of hours before the scheduled hearing. Now, for all committees, there is a five-hour window to submit testimony two days before the hearing. To help visualize this, the Ways & Means Committee put out the following chart:

Most committees will send the zoom link for oral testimony the night before the hearing. This link cannot be shared. Some committees are doing Q&A at the end of each bill hearing, while others are asking questions of each witness.


ALL THE INFO

Check out MACo’s chart compiling all of the information above:

Suggestions or corrections? Contact Virginia White.

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