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Different ways you can testify during session.

How to Testify in Committee

The first step in the process of a bill becoming a law is typically a public hearing that is held in a legislative committee to discuss the particulars of the proposed policy or spending (see our How a Bill Becomesa Law page to learn more). During the 2022 legislative session, these committee hearings will be conducted virtually via Zoom. As such, you will be able to provide written testimony, state your position on a bill, and testify all without making the trek to Olympia.

Anyone can testify on a bill; you don't have to be a registered lobbyist (like WSMA's government affairs team) or have formal training. Legislators look to subject matter experts to help inform their policymaking decisions, so there's no one better positioned to share input on health care issues than our state's physicians and physician assistants.

This information is subject to change based on decisions implemented by the Washington State Legislature. For the most up to date information, visit the Legislature's website.

Written Testimony

If you are unable to attend a virtual committee hearing, you may submit written testimony up to 24 hours after the start of the committee hearing for both the House and Senate. Click on the links below and then select the appropriate committee, meeting date, and time for when that bill is scheduled for an upcoming hearing. Select "I would like to submit written testimony."

Provide your written comments in the form. Your comments will be made available to committee members and staff and will be included in the legislative record. We recommend saving your comments to your computer or phone before submitting online so you have a record for personal reference.

Senate remote testimony

House remote testimony

State Your Position on a Bill (without Testifying!)

You may also indicate your position on a bill (pro, con, or other) without testifying. Click on the links below and then select the appropriate committee, meeting date, and time for when that bill is scheduled for an upcoming hearing.

Pick the option that says, "I would like my position noted for the legislative record." This option will be available as soon as a bill is scheduled for a committee hearing and will close one hour before the start of the hearing.

Your registered position will be made available to committee members and staff and will be included in the legislative record.

Senate testimony

House testimony

Zoom Testimony

It is unclear whether remote testimony will continue as a permanent option when the Legislature resumes operating completely in person, but for the time being this is an excellent opportunity to participate in the policymaking process from the comfort of your own home!

Visit the House and Senate testimony webpages to register for testimony. Once again, you'll need to select the appropriate committee, meeting date, and time for when the bill is scheduled for an upcoming hearing.

Senate remote testimony

House remote testimony

Select "I would like to testify live during the hearing." This option will be available as soon as a bill is scheduled for a committee hearing and will close one hour before the start of the hearing. Anyone who does not register before this deadline will be unable to testify before the committee. Ensure your registration information is accurate, as it will be a part of the legislative record and used by TVW (Washington's public affairs network that broadcasts coverage of the legislative session) for online and television graphics.

After registering for remote testimony, you will be emailed a link to the meeting. Each link is unique to the registrant. You will be connected to the Zoom webinar meeting in attendee view until you are called to speak. For more detailed information regarding the logistics of remote testimony, view the Legislature's resource.

Registering to testify does not guarantee you a chance to speak or to speak at a specific time. Time constraints, technical issues, changes to committee schedules, etc. could affect your ability to testify. The committee chair may limit public testimony (for example, one minute per testifier) because of time constraints. Due to these parameters, it is recommended that you block out the full two-hour committee hearing to be prepared to testify at any point during the hearing.

As with all public hearings, wait until you are acknowledged by the committee chair before beginning your testimony.

Sample Testimony

While you will need to tailor your testimony to the specific issue, most testimony follows a similar outline. It is wise to prepare your remarks ahead of time to address key points in a concise manner.

  • Thank the committee for the opportunity to testify.
  • Introduce yourself and your relevant personal or professional experiences/qualifications. Make sure to identify yourself as a physician!
  • State your position on the bill.
  • Share anecdotes, data, etc. to support your position.
  • Urge the committee to take action (pass, do not pass, or amend the bill).
  • Thank the committee again and offer to answer questions.
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