There are few better ways to educate lawmakers about the needs of businesses than by communicating with them directly. Such communication can come in the form of an email or letter to a legislator, submitted and live testimony, a phone call or even an in-person conversation.

But reaching out to lawmakers can be daunting. Even finding a bill online, much less submitting testimony, can be confusing. The prospect of addressing legislators can be intimidating. And it’s natural to wonder whether lawmakers will listen to you in any case (they will).

This page provides tips for participating actively in the legislative process, including how to share your views with legislators. The FAQ below is a work in progress and will expand as needed. If you’d like to submit testimony or communicate with your representative or senator and can’t find adequate guidance here, please email eriklukens@oregonbusinessindustry.com. An addition to the FAQ may be necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can find both your state senator and representative by going here and typing in your address. As a bonus, you’ll also learn who your member of Congress is.

If you follow the instructions in the FAQ above to find out who your legislators are, you’ll also discover their email addresses. Alternatively, you can find their email addresses on the Legislature’s website. Senators can be found here, and representatives can be found here.

Contact information for senators, including phone numbers, can be found here. Contact information for representatives can be found here.

Contact information for senators, including mailing addresses, can be found here. Contact information for representatives can be found here.

They will. While your senator and representative may give your input particular attention, other members of the Legislature do consider input from people and entities likely to be affected by policies upon which they will vote. If a bill will harm or help your business, it is always worthwhile to communicate your views appropriately with legislators.

Not a problem. You should reach out to the legislator anyway. Most legislators are interested in hearing from Oregonians affected by policies they may be considering even if they live outside of their districts.

The Legislature’s website makes this easy through the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS). On the OLIS home page, choose the appropriate session by clicking on the “session” icon in the upper right. Then, click on the “bills” icon to call up lists of House and Senate bills. The lists are searchable by keyword.

Detailed instructions for submitting written testimony can be found on the Legislature’s website here. The page includes other useful information as well, including the proper time to submit testimony.

Detailed instructions for registering to testify in person can be found on the Legislature’s website here. In-person testimony can be delivered remotely as well.

The legislative page that provides registration instructions contains other helpful information, including where to park, how to enter the Capitol and what to do when the committee chair calls your name. The guidance can be found by going here and scrolling down.

Great question! We’ll cover two pieces of etiquette here. The first involves the introduction of your testimony. The second involves responses to questions by legislators.

First, the introduction. You should begin your testimony by stating your name, your affiliation and your reason for testifying. This format is very common: “Chair (state last name of legislative committee chair) and members of the committee, my name is (your name), and I am (your title and affiliation). I’m testifying today ….”

Second, responses to questions. When answering a question by a committee member, address the committee chair, then the committee member who asked the question before thanking them for the question and replying. For example, “Chair Smith, Rep. Jones, thank you for the question.”

The Legislature’s web site provides video and audio links here. Video and audio are provided for legislative committees.

Direct Links
Legislator Lookup
Senators
Representatives
OLIS
Written Testimony
Live Testimony
Video and Audio
Key State Agencies
Additional Resources
2024 End of Session Report
2024 report
2023 End of Session Report
2023 report
Oregon Competitiveness Book
Competitiveness Book