Using the Request to Speak program of the AZ Legislature Information System
By Jose Borrajero
For those legislators who listen to citizen input, a major source of information is the testimony rendered at committee hearings, both in person and remotely. The following are instructions on how to provide opinions at committee hearings without being there physically.
NOTE: Testimony at hearings can only be done for bills that are scheduled for standing committee hearings (e.g. appropriations, education, etc.). For all bills, scheduled for hearings or not, one may provide citizen opinions via other methods, like e-mail, telephone, etc.
First, one must register. This has to be done at the capitol in Phoenix, using one of the various terminals available. Beginning in 2018, you may also register at the legislature satellite office in Tucson. Once registered, one may log in as often as desired, using one’s home computer. To do so, this is the procedure to follow:
- At your home computer, go to AZPEOPLESLOBBYIST-ALIS Then click on the green square on the upper right hand corner of form.
- Choose “Request to Speak (RTS)”.
- Sign on using the e-mail address and password you used when you registered at the capitol.
- Choose “New Request” from the Request to Speak menu.
- You now have several options as to how to choose a bill on which to render your opinion, but the easiest and fastest way to go is to enter the bill number at “Search Phrase”, then click on the “search” button.
- The search results page comes up
- At the bottom right, click on “Add Request”
- Choose your position from the three provided: For, Neutral, or Against.
- Next, choose whether you actually want to be present at the hearing and speak. Your choices are: Yes, No, or Only if Necessary. Most of the time you will be choosing “No”.
- Next, go to the comments section and state your opinions, but this is optional. Keep in mind that these are public comments, for the record. Everyone has access to these comments. Any thing you say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion.
- Next, click on “Submit” and you are done. Now you can start the process again for the next bill you wish to render an opinion on.
Going through the 11 steps is a lot easier than it may seem when reading the instructions.