Hawaii Film Blog

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Leg '06: Hear, Hear on Hearings

Quick refresher course from last year: so there's this thing called the legislature, right? And it vets bills and either makes laws or garbage of them, OK? And it's made up of legislators (representatives and senators) that you elect to do what you tell them to do, and to get for you what you want to get. Got me so far? OK, so how can you tell them what to do and get?

  • First, find out who they are: Find Your Legislators
  • Second, call or email them by looking up their contact info in the House and Senate directories (House, Senate) and telling them your concerns, which they may or may not shape into a bill to be introduced by next Wed, 1/25, the deadline for bill intros (fyi: see the whole legislative timetable)
  • Third, read and track pertinent bills online: 2006 Regular Session Bill and Resolution Status, Text, and Committee Reports (see upper left corner of grid)
  • Fourth, find out when the public HEARINGS on topics and bills that interest you are going to take place: 2006 Regular Session Hearing Notices (see upper right corner of grid)
  • Fifth, submit written testimony (this is how you tell them what you want) to be given at these hearings: How to Submit Testimony
  • Sixth, attend the hearings (and possibly give your testimony orally and ask the questions you want answered).
  • Seventh, follow up with your legislators on a regular basis to see how your bills are doing, and whether they're going to be able to get what you want them to get for you.
While we're talking about hearings, you should know that at the beginning of the legislative session (like, right now), there are informational hearings and bill-specific hearings held by the different House committees and Senate committees .

For example, there is an informational hearing tomorrow held by the House Finance (FIN) committee on the topic of "What's up with the Dept. of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT, the dept. within which the Hawaii Film Office falls)?" OK, so that's not the actual title of the hearing, but there is none, so I'm making one up. But essentially, the members of FIN will be asking lots of questions to DBEDT director Ted Liu about the various programs and stuff for which the department is responsible. You may attend this hearing if you like: it's tomorrow, 1/20, from 9am-12pm, at the State Capitol, Room 308 (details below).

>> FIN Informational Public Hearing on DBEDT

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