Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gimme links, Lege Council

The caption to a bill filed yesterday by state Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer filled Grits' wonky heart with joy: "Relating to providing links in the online text of proposed legislation to other state laws referenced in that legislation." I'm not sure why it requires a state law to do that, but boy would it make reading bills easier! The biggest constituency for this bill may actually be legislative staff who must evaluate hundreds of bills over the course of the session. Martinez-Fischer has earned the reputation as a bit of a partisan bomb thrower, but Grits sees no reason why this idea shouldn't enjoy wide bipartisan support. Hell, it should have been done long ago.


don said...

I love the idea of having hyperlinks within some online versions of state statutes. But the bill seems to require them in all electronic versions of state law made public -- which might impede the bulk access files that people use to do deep legislative analysis or tracking.

As an example of what can be done by others given bulk access, have you seen State Decoded? It's a software platform to publish state laws, which contains these hyperlinks as well as other nice nice touches (like noting which terms are defined elsewhere). Example:

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Don, he's only suggesting the links go in proposed bills, not all "online versions of state statutes."

DEWEY said...

It would be great to have a place to read and study on my computer bills being considered so I could contact my congress critters and give them my opinion on them !!