I had my first opportunity yesterday to use the state’s new remote testimony procedures. The process exceeded my expectations. I was testifying on SB 5096 (9% income tax on capital gains). You can view my testimony here (starts at 21:57). More than 100 people signed in to provide video/phone testimony, while another 524 signed in for the official record. Obviously with that much citizen interest testimony was limited to one minute.
For those providing the video testimony, we received an initial email confirmation and then a reminder email before the hearing started. The unique link provided took us to a Zoom waiting room where we could see the active cameras for the hearing.
After we were called into the speaking queue, the view changed to a Zoom gallery showing those ready to testify. Folks needed to remember to activate their cameras and go off mute when it was their turn to speak. While we were speaking, we could see a countdown clock showing how much time we had left.
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We also had the option to submit written testimony. One important note on that, I heard from the Chair of Ways and Means this morning that links won’t work for members on the written form option. If you use that option, it is best to send any attachments to committee members in a separate email.
I was so happy to see and hear the comments from those testifying about how much they appreciated the option for remote testimony. Legislative staff did a wonderful job setting this process up. It was incredibly easy to use.
My hope is that this new robust remote testimony option for citizens will keep going strong long after COVID-19 is off the front pages.
This article was provided by the Washington Policy Center
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