Mountain States Policy Center President Chris Cargill had the opportunity to sit down with Brian Holmes of KTVB to talk about our recommendations to improve public participation in the legislative process. We are encouraging the following changes:
Provide a 3-day notice for all public hearings and agendas (automatically emailed to those subscribed to legislative updates);
Utilize a master email listserv subscription for all committee updates;
Subscription notifications do not expire after the session;
Post all bill amendments in advance for committees and floor action; and
Post the room number on the legislative website where lawmaker offices are located at the capitol building.
Here is our interview yesterday with KTVB - "The 208: Current notice for public testimony on too tight of a timeline?"
Providing advance notice of bills scheduled for public hearings is a standard practice among neighboring states. This type of public notice is necessary to allow for meaningful involvement by citizens in the bill hearing process. This notice is needed even for those participating with remote testimony.
Whether we are entrepreneurs, parents, students, members of a trade group, or even a lawmaker, it is important to have meaningful public notice of when a bill is going to be available for a public hearing and what the actual text of that proposal is. Only then can we rearrange our schedules, review, and prepare to provide the testimony lawmakers need to help advance good policy for the state.