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.

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 at a public hearing on a bill or resolution and would like to submit written comments to be included in the official hearing record as an exhibit, you will find a link to submit your comments online on the chamber viewer page for each bill or resolution. Comments are allowed once a bill has been scheduled for public hearing and must be submitted and verified prior to 12:00 p.m. CST on the last work day prior to the public hearing to be included in the official hearing record.

The comments submitted online and verified prior to the deadline and identified as comments for the public hearing record will be the only method for submission of official hearing record comments other than testifying in person. Letters and comments submitted via email or hand-delivered will no longer be included as part of the hearing record although they are a viable option for communicating your views with an individual senator.

If you have a position comment for the public hearing record on a gubernatorial appointment, an agency budget hearing, or an amendment scheduled for public hearing, go to the “Committees” heading on the left side of the home page. From there you will go to “Hearing Schedules” and select the specific hearing to find a link to submit online comments.

The hearing schedule may also be reached by going to the online calendar and selecting the date of the public hearing, then selecting “Hearing Schedules.”

In order to facilitate public input on legislation, a feature was 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.) This feature will appear once a bill has been scheduled for a public hearing.

Persons submitting comments online will have the option to request the comments be included in the official public hearing record as an exhibit if the comments are submitted and verified prior to 12:00 p.m. CST on the last work day prior to the public hearing.

If you have a position comment for the public hearing record on a gubernatorial appointment, an agency budget hearing, or an amendment scheduled for public hearing, go to the “Committees” heading on the left side of the home page. From there you will go to “Hearing Schedules” and select the specific hearing to find a link to submit online comments.

The hearing schedule may also be reached by going to the online calendar and selecting the date of the public hearing, then selecting “Hearing Schedules.”

New this session, the Legislature has established an ADA accommodation of public hearing written testimony for qualified individuals who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (as defined in Title I of the American with Disabilities Act, C.F.R. 35.108).

Qualified individuals are eligible to submit written public hearing testimony via an online portal. As an eligible individual submitting written testimony, the person’s name and position will be listed on the committee statement for the legislative bill, gubernatorial appointment, agency budget, or amendment, with a notation that the testimony was submitted as ADA Accommodation Written Testimony.

If you are a qualified individual and would like to submit ADA Accommodation written testimony on a legislative bill, gubernatorial appointment, an agency budget hearing, or an amendment scheduled for public hearing, go to the “Committees” heading on the left side of the home page. From there you will go to “Hearing Schedules” and select the specific hearing to find a link to submit ADA Accommodation written testimony. ADA Accommodation written testimony is allowed once the public hearing has been scheduled and must be submitted and verified prior to 12:00 p.m. CST on the last work day prior to the public hearing.

The hearing schedule may also be reached by going to the online calendar and selecting the date of the public hearing, then selecting “Hearing Schedules.”

Hearing Schedules