Witness Slips 101

You’ve seen the calls to file a witness slip, but what are they, exactly? Witness slips are an effective tool that show the support or opposition to a piece of legislation. When you file a witness slip, your name and your position are officially recorded and considered.

How to find the legislation

Often groups such as CWTA will link to a specific piece of legislation. If that’s the case, you can skip down to How to file a Witness Slip. If you are navigating to the legislation yourself, start with Step 1, below.

  1. Go to ilga.gov and type in the bill number (eg HB1234 or SB6789) in the box on the left-hand column Search By Number and click Go. You will be taken to the Status Page of the bill.
  2. Click Witness Slips near the top of the page. You will be taken to the page that lists the names of everyone who has filed a witness slip
  3. Below the Legislation title and above the number of proponents and opponents is a link for the next “action” (in our example it’s the notice for judiciary.). Click this link, which will take you to the hearing page. Note, if no “action” has been scheduled, then it is not possible to file a witness slip
  4. From this page, click the button on the right-hand side Create a Witness Slip. This will take you to a new page that lists all of the bills that will be considered on the same day as your bill.
  5. Find your bill in the list, and click the paper and pen icon that pertains to your bill under the Witness Slips column on the far right.

File a Witness Slip

I. Identification: fill in your name, address, email, and telephone number. In the Firm/Business or Agency type “Self”. For title, type “Self”

II. Representation: Self

III. Position: Choose either Proponent or Opponent

IV. Testimony: Choose Record of Appearance Only

V. Agree to the terms

VI. Click Create (Slip)

 

Congratulations on making your voice heard!

What’s next?

Call your representative and let them know how you feel about the bill! Even if your rep is taking the same position as you, it’s important for them to hear from their constituents. Find your representative here: http://www.elections.il.gov/districtlocator/addressfinder.aspx

Share the information with your network! Twitter and Facebook are great ways to get the information out there. For a personal touch, you can always email, text, or talk directly to your friends and family about why the bill is important to you.

For more information, check out the Witness Slip Project