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Public can testify remotely this legislative session

Members of the public will have a new way to submit testimony during this year’s legislative session, since the State Capitol building in Honolulu is closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 regular session for Hawaii’s Legislature will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

To receive hearing notices, submit testimony and track measures, community members can use their email address to set up an account at capitol.hawaii.gov, according to the Legislature’s Public Access Room.

They can also watch meetings live or view archived meetings by clicking on the “live and on-demand video” button on the Legislature’s website.

Testifiers must submit written testimony if they would also like to testify remotely via videoconference, the state Senate said in a news release. They must register no later than 24 hours prior to the committee hearing in order to be added to the remote virtual testimony list.

Late requests to testify remotely via Zoom may be made by contacting the committee directly, the Senate added. Requests will handled on a case-by-case basis.

The House also said in a news release that community members are strongly encouraged to submit testimony and requests to testify remotely 24 hours prior to the start of a hearing.

Anyone who does not have internet access or needs assistance creating an account or navigating the testimony process can contact the Public Access Room at (808) 587-0478 or par@capitol.hawaii.gov.

Visit lrb.hawaii.gov/par/ for video tutorials and step-by-step instructions as well as reference information about the legislative process and how to participate.

Those needing special assistance such as an auxiliary aid/service or who are unable to submit testimony via the website due to a disability should contact the committee directly at capitol.hawaii.gov/committees/committees.aspx?chamber=all.

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