How to submit testimony on legislation for the Maryland General Assembly

Overview

Submitting oral and written testimony about pending legislation is an important part of the democratic process in Maryland. For the 2021 session, constituents can submit testimony through the Maryland General Assembly website. All testimony this session will be held via Zoom and streamed live on the Maryland General Assembly website and YouTube.

For most committees, oral testimony sign up and written testimony submission is two business days before a scheduled hearing between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Some committees schedule their submission window starting at 8:00 a.m. and closing at 3:00 p.m., but you will need to check the specific committee’s rules to ensure the correct sign up window.

An important detail to remember is that some committees have specific rules about formatting file names or submitting other required information with written testimony. These kinds of requirements are on a committee-by-committee basis and you need to check the specific committee’s rules to confirm.

For most committees, if you are chosen to present oral testimony, a Zoom link will be sent to you by 3:00 p.m. the day before the scheduled hearing. This is a committee-by-committee decision so be sure to check the specific committee’s rules about sending Zoom links below.

A table listing all of the committees, testimony submission windows, when Zoom links are sent and committee rules is below.


Submitting Testimony

Oral and written testimony must be submitted through the Maryland General Assembly website. Follow the instructions below to create a MyMGA account, sign up to provide testimony, track bills to follow and other account features.

Create a MyMGA account

  1. Visit the Maryland General Assembly website (https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/) and click the “MyMGA” button in the top right corner.
  2. Click “Register” on the left side to create an account.
  3. Complete the form to create your MyMGA account and click the “Register” button at the bottom of the page.
  4. Verify your email address to use your MyMGA account.
    1. Note: Ensure you have access to the email address you used to create your MyMGA account as this is where Zoom links and bill update notifications will be sent.

Sign up to provide testimony

  1. Sign in to your MyMGA account.
  2. Click “Witness Signup” on the left side.
  3. Find the committee and bill you want to provide testimony for. You can also click the “Committees” drop down menu above the list of bills to directly navigate to a committee.
    1. Note: You will see bills listed on the Witness Signup page only if you are accessing it between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. or whenever a committee designates time to submit testimony. You will not see any bills listed on the Witness Signup page if you are accessing it outside of the designated time to submit testimony.
  4. Click the “Position” drop down menu and select a choice to indicate your position on the bill. Click the “Testimony” drop down menu and select a choice to indicate what kind of testimony you’re providing.
    1. Note: You can also type in the “Organization” box which organization you’re submitting testimony on behalf of, but this is optional.
  5. If you are submitting written testimony, the file must be saved as a PDF. Click “Upload Files” to select a file, click “Choose Files” to select files from your computer and click “OK” to save your selection.
  6. Click the “Save” button at the top of the page after you are finished signing up for testimony and submitting documents.
  7. Click “Signed Up Items” at the top of the page to confirm that you have successfully signed up to submit testimony.

Track bills

  1. Sign in to your MyMGA account.
  2. Click “Bill Tracking Lists” on the left side.
  3. Click “Add List” at the top of the page.
  4. A box titled “Add List (Default Settings)” will appear. This is where you give the bill tracking list a name and specify how you want to receive updates about the bill. Click “Save” after you have indicated your preferences.
  5. Add bills to track to the list you just created by clicking the icon beneath the table heading titled “Edit List Items.”
  6. Check the boxes next to the bills you want to track. You can also search for bills by name or number in the search box in the top right of the page.
    1. Note: If the bill you select is crossfiled with another bill, you will be given the option to select whether you want to track the additional bill as well.
  7. Click “Save” at the top of the page after you have finished making your selections.
  8. View the current status of the bill by clicking the icon beneath the table heading titled “Run Report.”
  9. Edit the bills a list is tracking, notification settings or delete a tracking list from the “Bill Tracking List” page.

Other account settings

  1. Sign in to your MyMGA account.
  2. Click “FAQ” on the left side to access instructions about using your MyMGA account.
  3. Click “Change Password” on the left side to change the password for your MyMGA account.
  4. Click “Edit Account” on the left side to change the information associated with your MyMGA account.
  5. Click “Cancel Account” on the left side to cancel your existing MyMGA account. Enter your account password and click “Cancel Tracking” to complete the process.
    1. Note: Cancelling your account will immediately delete your account and a new one will need to be created if you want to track bills in the future.
  6. Click “Sign Out” on the left side to sign out of your MyMGA account.

House Committees

Committee Instructions
Appropriations Oral testimony sign up and written testimony submission is two business days before a scheduled hearing between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Economic mattersOral testimony sign up and written testimony submission is two business days before a scheduled hearing between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. 
File names on written testimony must include the bill number and the name of the organization and/or person testifying, such as “HB0135_PSC_Smith.pdf”. It may be helpful to include a position or other explanation after the name, such as FAV, UNF, FWA, INFO, or AMD.
Environment and transportationOral testimony sign up and written testimony submission is two business days before a scheduled hearing between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Health and government operationsOral testimony sign up and written testimony submission is two business days before a scheduled hearing between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
All written testimony must have a visible bill number, indication of support, opposed, or support with amendments, name and address of the person testifying and organization represented, if appropriate.
Rules and executive nominationsOral testimony sign up and written testimony submission is two business days before a scheduled hearing between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Judiciary Oral testimony sign up and written testimony submission is two business days before a scheduled hearing between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
All submitted written testimony must have a visible bill number located at the top of the first page of your testimony, clear indication of support, opposed, or support with amendments, name and address of the person and/or entity testifying and submitting the testimony.
Ways and meansOral testimony sign up and written testimony submission is two business days before a scheduled hearing between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Senate Committees

Committee Instructions 
Budget and TaxationOral testimony sign up and written testimony submission is two business days before a scheduled hearing between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Eduction, health and environmental affairsOral testimony sign up and written testimony submission is two business days before a scheduled hearing between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Executive nominationsOral testimony sign up and written testimony submission is two business days before a scheduled hearing between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Finance Oral testimony sign up and written testimony submission is two business days before a scheduled hearing between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Judicial proceedingsOral testimony sign up and written testimony submission is two business days before a scheduled hearing between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Rules Oral testimony sign up and written testimony submission is two business days before a scheduled hearing between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Schedule for sending Zoom links

Hearing is on a:Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday 
Sign up to testify and/or submit written testimony on:The previous Thursday from 10:00am-3:00pmThe previous Friday from 10:00am-3:00pmThe previous Monday from 10:00am-3:00pmThe previous Tuesday from 10:00am-3:00pmThe previous Wednesday from 10:00am-3:00pm
Zoom link sent:Previous FridayMonday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday