Guide for Submitting Testimony at the NH State House

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Guide for Submitting Testimony at the NH State House

While HB 1633 is still set to be considered by the House Finance Committee, a bunch of therapeutic cannabis bills are still alive in the legislature, and will soon be scheduled for hearings and discussion in the Senate. Once they are scheduled we will be sure to provide updates.

As such, our friend NH Representative Wendy Thomas (D – Hillsborough, District 12) has put together the following guide with helpful tips and steps outlining how best to submit written and verbal testimony on bills that are being heard at the state house (FYI – this guide is relevant for all legislation, not just cannabis-related bills).

To Send Written Testimony:

  1. Go to the General Court Website:
  2. At the bottom of the page Under Meeting Resources click on – House Sign-in Form and Online Testimony Submission (
  3. If you already have the bill information – Fill out the online form, you’ll need:
    • Bill number
    • Committee name
    • Date of hearing
  4. Enter or attach your written testimony, review and submit. Using this method each member of the committee will get a copy of your testimony.

What If You Don’t Know the Bill Name or Number?

On the General Court website –

  • Use Find A Bill – if you have the number of the bill
  • Use Bill Text Search – if you know what the bill is about (for example, you could search for bills that have the word “cannabis” in them)

  • Use Bill Search by Legislator – if you know who sponsored the bill or who is a co-sponsor

What If You Don’t Know the Committee or Schedule?

On the main page of the General Court Website use the options under Meeting Resources:

  • Use House Calendar for the House of Representatives bills
  • Use Senate Calendar for the Senate

These calendars are published weekly and tell you which committees are meeting and which bills they will be hearing/voting on. Some bills (cannabis) almost always go to the same committees (Health and Human Services), but sometimes bills go to a committee that is not expected (a recent cannabis bill went to Ways and Means). You just have to scan the calendar for keywords.

Tips on Written Testimony:

  • Keep it short.

  • Use the bill title AS WELL AS the bill number.

  • Say in the beginning whether you support or oppose the bill.

  • Use paragraphs with breaks – don’t send a solid block of text.

  • Be respectful.

  • Sign with your name and your town/address

  • If possible, have a second pair of eyes on your written testimony. Sometimes people will pick up communication issues that you didn’t catch.

Tips on Verbal Testimony:

  • Introduce yourself – name and address

  • Keep it short – 3 minutes max

  • STICK TO THE POINT – avoid any “and another things”

  • Speak clearly into the microphone

  • Speak slowly

  • Sit up straight, don’t slouch (it helps you be heard better)

  • It’s fine to read your testimony if you need to

  • Sometimes you will be asked questions = go ahead and answer to the best of your ability but sometimes it’s fine to say, I don’t have the answer, perhaps it would be better to ask someone else

  • Dress appropriately – nothing that’s inflammatory – you don’t want to turn off anyone before you even testify

  • Generally be respectful – even if you oppose a bill, this is the process that we have and you need to work within it

  • Show up on time, but be prepared to wait if the committee is running over

General Outline for Written and Verbal Testimony:

  1. What the problem is

  2. Why it’s a problem

  3. Why this solution fixes it

  4. Final ask – please support or oppose this bill.

Verbal testimony is usually capped at 3 minutes.

Written testimony that goes much over one page is usually only skimmed. By keeping it shorter you have more of a chance of getting your point across.

Don’t combine messages for multiple bills – use a separate email for each bill.

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