How to file a witness slip

A witness slip is a public record that allows you as an individual or as a member of an organization to indicate your stance on a given piece of legislation ahead of a scheduled House or Senate committee hearing.

Witness slips are a vital part of the process and let lawmakers know where constituents and organizations stand before they vote on a particular piece of legislation.

How to file a witness slip if you have a direct web link:

1. Click the web link and fill out all the identification fields. Be sure to include an email address so you get a confirmation email that your witness slip went through.
2. Fill out the “Representation” section only if you’re filing a slip on behalf of a supportive organization (e.g. your neighborhood association, local chamber of commerce, Lions Club, etc.)
3. Indicate your “position” on the bill: “proponent,” “opponent,” or “no position on the merits.”
4. In the “Testimony” section click all that apply (Oral/Written Statement Filed/Record of Appearance Only) If you’re simply indicating that you are “for” or “against” a bill, click record of appearance only.
5. Click “Agree to the Terms of Agreement” and then click “Create (Slip).”
6. Before you close out the witness slip tab, check your email for a confirmation that your slip was filed.
7. Please share the witness slip link with your friends and colleagues encouraging them to do the same.

How to file a witness slip if you have a bill number:

1. Go to the IL General Assembly webpage:
2. Type in the bill number in the left search box for the legislation you’re interested in (e.g. HB1 or SB1000) and click “Go.”
3. When the bill appears, click the “Witness Slips” link at the top of the page underneath the bill number.
4. On the Witness Slips page, click the hearing notice link just above the list of bill “proponents.”
5. Click the “Create Witness Slips” button on the right side of the page.
6. A new tab or window will open in your browser with the hearing date, time and location.
7. Find the bill number for which you want to file a witness slip.
8. On the right side of the page, click the “Create Witness Slip” button (the pencil and paper icon) next to the bill number you want.
9. Fill out the identification information, representation section, if applicable, and the testimony section. When you’re done, click “Create (Slip).”

Want to keep this information handy? Download our “how to” PDF here.

Fair Maps at the Supreme Court

Fair maps return to the center stage at the U.S. Supreme Court this month.

Want to read up more about each of the three cases? Check out our synopses for each below:

MARCH 18Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections – Virginia’s racial gerrymander. This case argues that Virginia’s state legislative maps were drawn to intentionally pack black voters in as small a number of districts as possible, unconstitutionally limiting their representation in office and unfairly diminishing their political capital. This case comes just a few years after a federal judge threw out Virginia’s congressional map for the same reason. The Supreme Court has ruled against racial gerrymandering several times over the decades, something we hope continues in 2019. [Read more on Oyez]

MARCH 26Benisek v. Lamone – Maryland’s Democratic gerrymander. Maryland Democrats, including former-Gov. Martin O’Malley, have stated they drew their congressional maps in order to knock off a sitting Republican incumbent and move the state’s congressional delegation from 6-2 (Dem) to 7-1. [Read more from SCOTUS Blog]

MARCH 26Common Cause v. Rucho – North Carolina’s Republican gerrymander. On March 26th, the Supreme Court also will hear arguments for North Carolina’s infamous congressional maps. The North Carolina GOP bragged about their maps publicly, saying their 11-3 advantage existed only because they couldn’t figure out how to draw themselves a 12-2 advantage against the Tar Heel State Democrats. [Read more from SCOTUS Blog]

The cases the Supreme Court will hear on March 26, one Democratic gerrymander and one Republican, illustrate that the stain of gerrymandering on our nation is bipartisan.

We hope the Supreme Court will take this opportunity to end this despicable practice once and for all.