Public Hearings

How to share your views with senators

Nebraska’s unique Unicameral Legislature relies heavily on the “second house” – the citizens of the State of Nebraska. Ensuring that members of the public have the opportunity to have their voices heard is vital to the legislative process.

The following options provide ways for citizens to share their views on a bill with the Legislature.

The Legislature will no longer be accepting written, submitted testimony prior to the committee hearing. To appear on the transcript, a testifier must physically appear before a committee and be available to answer questions from the committee members. No changes have been made to the submission of a position letter or the submission of online comments.

Please read each option carefully, as each has a different outcome as to how your input is recorded.

As always, persons attending a public hearing in person will have an opportunity to present verbal testimony to the committee and be subject to questioning by the committee members. In-person testimony is generally limited to 5 minutes although the chair of each committee has discretion to modify that time limit.

Persons verbally testifying will be listed as a testifier on the committee statement as has been the practice, and have their position included within the official committee hearing record

If you are not testifying in person on a bill or resolution, or submitting written testimony in person on a bill (Option 2), but would like to submit a position letter to be included in the official hearing record as an exhibit, you must deliver your letter to the office of the committee chair or emailed to the committee’s email account List of Committee Emails by 12:00 p.m. CST on the last work day prior to the public hearing.

Letters emailed (and not hand-delivered) will not be included as part of the public hearing record if sent to any email other than the committee’s email account List of Committee Emails.

Your letter must identify the bill or resolution, include your name and address, state a position of for, against, or neutral, on the bill in question and include a request for the letter to be included as part of the public hearing record.

Please note that mass communications will also not be included as part of the official hearing record as an exhibit regardless of delivery time or requests to have the communication included.

In order to facilitate public input on legislation, a new feature has been added to the Nebraska Legislature’s website for submission of written comments on pending legislation on the Legislature’s website at any stage of the process. (To access this feature, search for the bill you wish to submit a statement on and click the corresponding button near the top of the bill page.)

These submissions will not be considered testimony or part of the public hearing record, but the submitted comments will be available for access by senators and staff throughout the session. Please note, there should be no expectation of privacy regarding comments submitted in this format. If a citizen uses the database to submit his or her views prior to the public hearing on a bill or resolution, this option will allow input to the members of the committee prior to any committee votes.