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West Virginia Legislative Process

Classes:
Introduction > Legislative Process > Policy Making > Committee System > Bill Becomes Law > Take the Test > Resources


Resources > Contacting Your Legislators > Be Prepared, and more! > Public Hearings Fact Sheet

Public Hearings Fact Sheet

Public hearings can be very beneficial in that you get to testify to a committee and educate several legislators at one time about a proposed bill. Most of the time public hearings only last about one hour so you only want to talk three to five minutes. The reason for this is that legislators get to hear several people talk and can see how a proposed bill may affect peoples lives.

Each person testifying can cover a different point about the proposed bill and how it will affect peoples lives. Be knowledgeable about the subject on which you are testifying. If asked questions you can't answer tell them you'll get back to them at a later date (do this as soon as possible because if you don't the bill may not be reported out of committee and die there).

What is the purpose for public hearings? To allow legislators to hear how a bill might affect the people of the state.

Each year the state's agencies and offices are directed to write or revise rules and regulations based on legislation that has been passed. They are required by law to hold a public hearing to receive public comments.

Legislature holds public hearings during each legislative session.

Who can hold a public hearing?

Hearings can be held by the following:

Scheduling a public hearing

You must make a formal request to the appropriate committee chair. Remember most requests made are honored, but the committee chair may not be required to do so.

Anyone may attend the public hearings and present testimony which is generally limited to a few minutes.

How can I find out if a public hearing has been scheduled?

To find out if and when a legislative public hearing is scheduled, you can call the House and Senate clerk's office during the legislative session.


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