Hello Legislative Friend!
What will the 2021 Session look like?
The Senate will attempt to work from Annapolis, while the House will meet on the 13th and vote to change the rules to be able to work from home. They are not expected to reconvene until the beginning of February. That means that while the Senate will move forward with veto overrides, the House will wait.
In the meantime, hearings will be happening at a vigorous pace. We've listed the first two weeks of hearings on bills that we are watching below. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS LIST HAS BEEN UPDATED.
Since oral testimony will be restricted this session, written testimony will be a key factor in advocating for our bills. For Senate bills, testimony will be limited to either 4 or 8 people, depending on the complexity of the bill. Three of the 4, or six of the 8 people testifying will be selected by the sponsor, while the other people will be selected randomly. For House bills, testimony will be limited to 50 people per bill (this may change), so not everyone who signs up will be able to testify. To get a better idea of what things will look like, check out this great article by Maryland Matters https://www.marylandmatters.org/2020/11/06/leaders-unveil-general-assembly-operations-plan-ahead-of-2021-session/
Sign ups for oral testimony and submission of written testimony will be done 48 hours in advance of a hearing. In order to submit written testimony or to sign up for oral testimony, you will need to create a MGA (Maryland General Assembly) account - http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Account/Register/Tracking
In order to submit testimony, you would go here - http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Account/Login?returnUrl=%2Fmgawebsite%2FMyMGATracking%2FWitnessSignup®isterId=Tracking
Remember, since signups for oral testimony and submission of written testimony must be done 48 hours in advance it means that for hearings that are scheduled for the 14th, testimony is due NEXT TUESDAY.
When you write testimony, keep it short, remember to include the bill number, sponsor, committee name and the fact that you are in SUPPORT of the bill. Start with the fact that you support the bill and end with the same thing, so for those who won't read all the testimony, they can tell what your position is.