Currently due to COVID-19, all meetings are virtual.
Generally, public comment is taken after discussion by the subcommittee or Commission but before a vote occurs. Most often, the chair will allow up to three minutes per speaker, and speakers will be invited to testify in the order in which they registered. Occasionally, when time is limited, the chair may limit testimony (see "When time is limited" below).
Registration and providing testimony in-person:
For in-person meetings, we encourage you to register online or call 503-580-9792 by noon Pacific time two business days prior to the meeting. Whether or not you pre-register, please sign in when you arrive so that we can allocate time for testimony.
To ensure Commissioners are able to receive your full testimony, commenters are encouraged to submit written testimony in addition to signing up to provide verbal testimony. Written testimony must be received by noon Pacific time two business days prior to a scheduled meeting. See the Written Testimony policy below for full details. If you choose to bring printed materials to the meeting, please bring 15 paper copies for distribution.
After you have completed your testimony, you are encouraged to remain available to the Commission in the event there are questions or responses from HERC members. Time spent answering member questions does not count against the time allotted for your testimony.
Slides, presentations or other materials to be presented with your testimony must be provided to staff 24 hours prior to the start of the meeting by emailing HERC.Info@dhsoha.state.or.us. HERC staff reserve the right to not present or distribute materials that the HERC director deems inappropriate or which do not relate to a matter within the HERC's purview.
Verbal testimony for a topic that is not on the agenda:
Members of the public can testify for a limited time on topics not on the agenda. This testimony will generally occur during the last portion of the meeting. Based on the testimony, the Commission may request staff to take up the topic for review at a future meeting once staff has prepared the necessary research and policy analysis.
Coordinated group verbal testimony:
A person who is present to testify at a meeting may cede their testimony time to another person, but in no event will any one person be allowed to testify for more than 10 minutes. In order to coordinate group testimony, all members of the public must:
- Be logged in or physically present at the meeting at the time of the topic's discussion, and
- When beginning your testimony, state your name and announce your intention to cede your time to a named individual, and
- Notify staff of your request to coordinate group testimony by emailing HERC.Info@dhsoha.state.or.us 24 hours prior to the start of the meeting in order that staff may coordinate testimony
When testimony time is limited:
For some topics, the chair will need to balance the need for presentation of information and deliberation by members with the need to hear public testimony. For instance, if many people sign up to testify for a topic, the chair may elect to limit testimony to as little as one minute per person, and/or limit total testimony to as little as five minutes per agenda topic (or five minutes combined for all topics which do not appear on the posted agenda). If the number of people who wish to testify on a given topic exceeds the available time for testimony, members of the public will be invited to testify in the order in which they registered, until the available time expires.
In rare cases, the Commission or a subcommittee may announce a meeting which does not include public testimony time. For example, this may occur when extensive public testimony has already been heard at a dedicated meeting on that topic or when there are pressing agenda items that are time sensitive.