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Learn how to make your voice heard at the Legislature

By Staff | Oct 13, 2016

In recent years, important Maui bills have been debated at the Hawaii Legislature. There have been great victories (purchasing and preserving the land around Honolua Bay) and complete disasters, such as the management transfer of Maui Memorial Medical Center.

Granted, tracking legislation and hearings through the House and Senate can be confusing. There may also be a misconception that people have to travel to Honolulu in order to testify on bills.

If the workings of the Legislature are mystifying to you, take advantage of the Public Access Room. PAR serves Hawaii citizens by providing facilities, services and equipment to enhance their ability to participate in the legislative process.

PAR, a division of the Legislative Reference Bureau at the Capitol, recently announced that it will hold free legislative workshops, called “Your Voice.”

The new workshop, to be offered in West Maui on Friday, Nov. 18, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Kaunoa West Maui Senior Center, is designed to provide information, tips and tools to help citizens effectively add their voice to Hawaii’s lawmaking process.

Topics will include techniques on effective lobbying, testimony and communicating with senators and representatives; understanding the legislative process, deadlines and power dynamics at the Capitol; and easy to use resources available on the Legislature’s website. ?

This year, PAR is preceding its presentations with an open office hour from 5 to 6 p.m., for folks to drop in to ask questions or pick up materials.

Mark your calendar and attend to discover the public’s power in the state legislative process, and how you can influence state laws. For information, visit LRBhawaii.org/PAR or call 984-2400, extension 7-0478.