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This adorable puppy was born in a puppy mill and abused in a petstore.     The Public Hearing is an important step in the legislative process in the State of Wisconsin. All committees must hold public hearings on a bill before voting on it.

Who participates?  Members of the committees to whom the bill has been assigned for review, any members of the public who wish to attend.

How do the hearings work?  There are sign-in sheets available for those who wish to go on-record with their opinions. People may request to speak, may register for or against the bill without speaking, or may provide information without taking a position on the bill. Depending on the number of people wanting to speak, there may be a time limit for each.

Is there an audience?  Yes, size depends on interest. All interested parties and observers can attend. Media is sometimes there, too.

Do people read prepared statements?   Yes -- however, just reading from a printed statement isn't that effective. It's better to have a prepared written statement (bring 20 copies) then simply "discuss" your position with the legislators when you are called to the table. As always, of course, we request that our supporters be courteous and respectful at all times and present their opinions, supported by facts and personal experience, in an orderly fashion without name-calling or bad language.

Are questions asked of the participants? Sometimes, but not usually. If by some chance you are questioned by a legislator, answer to the best of your ability. If you do not know the answer, say so -- then offer to find out and get back to the questioner by phone or email later.

How long does a public hearing take?  That depends on how many people attend and wish to speak. Some public hearings are quite short; others can take hours.

       Please note that the entire legislative process takes time. Legislators must examine all of the pros and cons and listen to the opinions of both sides of an issue. We'll try to keep you updated on when your help is needed and what you can do. Meanwhile, keep educating others!

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