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Do you care about medical marijuana dispensaries? Death with dignity? Regulating e-cigarettes? Or adding buffer zones for the spraying of pesticides around schools?
All of those issues and more are expected to crop up in the 2015 Hawaii Legislature, which kicks off Wednesday. But tracking the session can be confusing for those not familiar with the process. Bookmark this page to get tips on how to keep track of what lawmakers are up to.
The Public Access Room
The Public Access Room is an impressive resource for anyone testifying for the first time. Go to the Capitol in downtown Honolulu, take the elevator to the fourth floor and look for the colorful fliers stacked outside its door, Room 401.
There you can get information about how to testify on bills, how to navigate the Legislature’s website, and the basics of drafting and submitting testimony. You can use computers to research bills, write testimony and make copies of it. Staff members offer workshops twice a week to provide an introduction to Hawaii’s lawmaking process. They’ll even customize workshops depending on your needs.
If you don’t want to drive all the way the Capitol, there’s a lot of information online. Here’s a quick overview of how to navigate the Legislature’s website, and below are more tips on how to make sense of the legislative session:
Understanding the Legislative Process
Tracking Bills and Resolutions
Watching Hearings and Briefings
Sharing Your Views
Engaging on Social Media