Visit the PAR web site.
The mission of the Public Access Room (PAR) is to provide members of the public with information, facilities, and services needed to aid their participation in the legislative process.
The PAR maintains up-to-date information resources that provide an overview of the legislature, House and Senate committee membership, a detailed legislative calendar, an explanation of how bills become laws, and selected research and reference materials. Several handouts are useful to people who wish to contact their legislators, including floor plans of the Capitol showing where lawmakers’ offices are located and seating charts to indicate where Senators and Representatives sit when they meet in their respective chambers. Capitol TV broadcast coverage of select floor sessions, committee hearings, and special events may be viewed on monitors in the PAR.
The PAR is equipped with computers – some appropriately modified to accommodate people with limited hearing, sight and mobility – as well as a printer, fax and photocopying machines, and a public telephone. Patrons may use available tabletop workspace for paperwork, to plug in laptop computers at a charging site, and for brief, small group meetings. Free wireless internet is available at the PAR and throughout most of the Capitol.
The PAR staff members handle a wide variety of inquiries – in person, by telephone, and via email – assisting the public with means to identify and track legislation, monitor committee hearing notices, and properly formulate and deliver testimony for hearings.
The PAR offers regularly scheduled workshops during the legislative session to acquaint members of the public with the legislative process and to provide resources for effective communication with lawmakers. Between-session workshops may also be scheduled; PAR staff members regularly travel to neighbor islands for workshops on legislative process during the interim
PAR also participates in programs to inform legislative staff how the PAR can assist and inform their constituents.
There is never a charge for PAR services.
PAR staff members also coordinate the National Conference of State Legislatures Legislators Back to School program through which legislators visit classrooms with age-appropriate printed materials to increase civic awareness and generate student interest in representative democracy.
The PAR coordinator administers the legislature’s broadcast contract on behalf of the House and Senate Clerks.
The Public Access Room (PAR) was established in 1990 in response to increasing demand for the services then offered to the public. Originally staffed and supported by community volunteers from public interest organizations, the PAR began operating with permanent staff and year-round open-door services in 1994. It became a division of the Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) in 1996.
Visit the PAR web site.