Hearing is March 9!! (sign-up on March 7)
WITNESSES FOR ORAL OR WRITTEN TESTIMONY ARE NEEDED!
This bill would allow state-wide, year round, Sunday hunting, and would
— apply in every county in the state,
— apply to private as well as public land,
— allow hunting on all 52 Sundays of the year by repealing every sub-section in 10-410 (a)(1) with: “The
Department may allow a person to hunt on each Sunday of the game bird and mammal seasons.” Because there is always something in season throughout the year, this means that hunting would be allowed 365 days of the year,
— Repeal the “Stop shooting at 10:30am on Sundays restrictions in Montgomery, Kent & Wicomico,
— Repeal the exemption for Baltimore, PG, Howard and Baltimore City, so Sunday hunting would be allowed in those counties for the first time ever,
— Make the archery zone 50 yards statewide, and
— Retain the prohibition on Sunday hunting in the state park system.
If you are willing to testify (either in writing or orally) against this bill, please call or e-mail Barbara Sollner-Webb (email@example.com or 301-604-5619) to let her know, and for help to signup should you need it. (Sign-up instructions are below if you do not need assistance)Please pass this along to any and all you think may be interested.
The hearing on the bill is Wednesday, March 9, in the House Environment & Transportation Committee. The hearing starts at 1:00 pm, and the order in which the bills will be heard is usually available the day before. We usually check that and let the witnesses know the approximate schedule. The hearing will be virtual, via Zoom.
You can choose to testify orally at the hearing, or submit written testimony, or both. Oral testimony is the most effective, if you can manage it with your schedule. The YouTube and Zoom format makes it easy to do other things and just “tune in” when it is your turn. But if that’s not feasible, written testimony is great, too. It doesn’t have to be lengthy; two or three short paragraphs where you identify yourself and state why you oppose the bill is fine. This is really a game of numbers more than anything – quantity of witnesses is important! 😊 Oral testimony is limited to 2 minutes; there is no length limit on written testimony. In any event, you must sign up on Monday, 3/7, between 8 am and 3 pm. First, you must create an account on the General Assembly website (MyMGA account). Instructions are below. You can create that account any time before March 7, but the window to sign up to testify on the bill or submit written testimony is just 8 am – 3 pm on Monday, 3/7. They are very strict about the window. Hitting “Save” at 3:01 pm will be rejected.
Here are the witness guidelines for the E&T Committee that give the requirements for both written and oral testimony, and complete info on how the Committee conducts the hearings: https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/pubs-current/current-ent-faqs.pdf
Here are the steps: Step 1: Create your MyMGA account. You can find a video tutorial on how to do that here: https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Information/VideoTutorials. Be sure to use a valid email address that you use, as this is where the Zoom link to testify on the hearing date will be sent. As mentioned above, you can do this first step anytime between now and Monday, March 7. Step 2: On Monday, 3/7 between 8 am and 3 pm – go to https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/ and click on the MyMGA tab in the very upper right hand corner of the page. Select the “Witness Signup” tab on the left side of the page. Note that only the person who signs up can testify; someone else cannot take your slot. Step 3: On this page, you can scroll down to find the bill you wish to testify on. Please be sure to verify that you are signing up for HB 1279 in House Environment & Transportation. Start by clicking the box to the left of the bill number. Step 4: When signing up, be sure to select “Unfavorable” under the Position dropdown tab. Then select either oral, written, or both under the Testimony dropdown tab, depending on which applies to you. Follow the prompts to attach any written testimony. All documents must be submitted as a PDF. Step 5: After you have made your selections and uploaded any documents, BE SURE TO CLICK “SAVE” on the top left side of the page before closing out. It is prudent to then verify that your signup worked by clicking the “Signed Up Items” button at the top of the page to display a list of bills that you have signed up to testify for. Don’t forget to click “Save,” otherwise you will be ghosted.
Once you have successfully signed up, you will receive a zoom link the day before the hearing. You can click on that at the start of the hearing, and will be placed in the waiting room. It’s a good idea to be watching the hearing, so you can keep track of how the proceedings are moving along, (while doing other things). You can just click on the zoom link to watch until it is your turn. You will be in the waiting room, but still able to hear what’s going on. That has been our experience so far this session.
The system is actually pretty user friendly so we hope you won’t find any problems.
Thanks again, and please let me or Barbara know if you have any questions.