Wilton residents following the school regionalization issue now have a date for when the topic will be discussed at an Education Committee public hearing in Hartford. Legislators have scheduled the hearing for March 1, at 1 p.m..

As of now the Education Committee calendar lists the public hearing location to be room 2E of the Legislative Office Building, at 300 Capitol Ave #5100, in Hartford. (Directions)

To find out how to participate in a public hearing, visit the CT General Assembly website.

In addition, the local group that has formed to oppose forced consolidation, Hands Off Our Schools, has scheduled a workshop to help people prepare testimony. They will hold it next Wednesday, Feb. 27 at Comstock Community Center from 1-4 p.m.. In addition, organizers are working on arranging transportation to Hartford, and will continue to post information to their Facebook page.

UPDATE:  State Rep. Gail Lavielle will be sending detailed instructions to constituents today about how, when and where to offer testimony. Importantly, she is drawing attention to SB 874, a bill on school consolidation introduced by Gov. Ned Lamont just this week, that she says also needs to be included in any testimony.

All three bills–SB 874 as well as Sen. Looney’s bill SB 738 and Sen. Duff’s bill SB 457–are on the agenda for the public hearing. If your testimony concerns the topic of forced regionalization generally, it’s a good idea to cite all three bill numbers.

From Rep. Lavielle’s message to constituents:

Testifying in Person

You may sign up to speak at the hearing starting at 10 a.m. in the lobby of the Legislative Office Building. The order is first-come, first-serve. The first hour of testimony is reserved for public officials, and after that, students will be given preference so that they can finish early. Everyone who signs up gets to speak, and the hearing will remain open until there are no more speakers.

You will have three minutes to speak before the Education Committee. If a Committee member asks you a question afterwards, you may take the time you need to answer.

Written Testimony

If you are speaking at the hearing, you should also submit written testimony so that it will appear in the public record, in the file of each bill. Legislators often refer to written testimony when they are voting on the House or Senate floor – especially when they have not come across a bill earlier in the session.

Submitting your written testimony:

  • Email it to the Committee by 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 28
  • Put your testimony in either a Word document or a pdf
  • Include the bill number(s), your name, and your town
  • Attach the document to an email
  • Put the bill number(s) in the Subject Line of the email
  • Send it to EDtestimony@cga.ct.gov

You may of course submit written testimony regardless of whether you are speaking at the hearing.

Testimony from members of the public plays an important role in the development of legislation.