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Legislatures on the 'Net.' (Internet's World Wide Web)



Tracking the legislative process is easy if you have access to the Internet's World Wide Web. Legislative information from 41 states is available on the Internet, with additional states or more information being added almost daily. Bill status information, copies of bills and state laws, and information about individual legislators is now available on the Internet in many states. Most legislative sites provide information through the World Wide Web, an easy-to-use, graphical interface See GUI.  to the Internet. Some legislatures also provide information through gopher (software that provides access to information through menus) or through a combination of World Wide Web, gopher and other Internet connections.

Legislative home pages on the Web have colorful graphics and photographs of state Capitol or official legislative seals. A few states offer "virtual tours Virtual Tours
The phrases panoramic tour and virtual tour are often used to describe a variety of video and photographic based media. The word panorama indicates an unbroken view, so essentially, a panorama in that respect could be either a series of photographs or panning video
" of their Capitols. The majority of legislative Internet sites include information about legislators, committees, committee schedules and basic information about legislative procedures or guides to how a bill becomes a law. At least 25 state legislatures provide bill status or bill history information, ranging from simple lists of bill titles to sophisticated searchable data bases of legislative information. Twenty states include the full text of bills on-line. In about two-thirds of those states, bills are searchable. Additional states provide summaries of bills on the Internet.

Some sites provide forms where citizens can enter their home zip code zip code

System of postal-zone codes (zip stands for “zone improvement plan”) introduced in the U.S. in 1963 to improve mail delivery and exploit electronic reading and sorting capabilities.
 or city name and locate their senator or representative. Some provide a "home page" for individual lawmakers that can include photographs, lists of legislative activities or committee memberships and biographical information. At least 12 states provide legislators' electronic mail addresses, so that citizens can send messages directly to them.

NCSL's home page at http://www.ncsl.org provides hypertext links to state legislative sites, in addition to other useful government resources. Hypertext links appear on the computer screen as underlined Words. When users dick on the state name, using a mouse, they are connected directly to that site.

RELATED ARTICLE: State Legislative Information on the Internet(*)

Alabama Alaska California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia(**) Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Kansas(**) Kentucky Louisiana Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana New Jersey New Mexico New Mexico, state in the SW United States. At its northwestern corner are the so-called Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at right angles; New Mexico is also bordered by Oklahoma (NE), Texas (E, S), and Mexico (S).  New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 North Carolina North Carolina, state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N). Facts and Figures


Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop.
 North Dakota North Dakota, state in the N central United States. It is bordered by Minnesota, across the Red River of the North (E), South Dakota (S), Montana (W), and the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (N).  Ohio Oregon Pennsylvania South Carolina South Carolina, state of the SE United States. It is bordered by North Carolina (N), the Atlantic Ocean (SE), and Georgia (SW). Facts and Figures


Area, 31,055 sq mi (80,432 sq km). Pop. (2000) 4,012,012, a 15.
 South Dakota South Dakota (dəkō`tə), state in the N central United States. It is bordered by North Dakota (N), Minnesota and Iowa (E), Nebraska (S), and Wyoming and Montana (W).  Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington Wisconsin Wyoming

* As of Oct. 30, 1995, links to these sites may be found at the NCSL World Wide Web site at http://www.ncsl.org. Some states listed may have legislative information provided by more than one source or by nonlegislative sources.

** Legislative information is available by subscription only.

RELATED ARTICLE: Help Internet Addresses

* Federal government information on the Internet is available through the Library of Congress at http://www.locgov

* Federal legislation from 1973 to the present can be found at http://thomas.loc.gov

* Census bureau Noun 1. Census Bureau - the bureau of the Commerce Department responsible for taking the census; provides demographic information and analyses about the population of the United States
Bureau of the Census
 information is available at http://www.census.gov.

* The full text of U.S. Supreme Court decisions can be obtained through Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute site at http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct

* The Cornell site (at http://www.law.cornell.edu/statutes.html) also provides a list of and hypertext links to constitutions, statutes, and codes in 13 states and the federal government.

* The National Association of the State Information Resources (1) The data and information assets of an organization, department or unit. See data administration.

(2) Another name for the Information Systems (IS) or Information Technology (IT) department. See IT.
 Executives (NASIRE NASIRE National Association of State Information Resource Executives ) site lists state government resources at http://www.state.ky.us/nasire/NASIREhome.html. NASIRE provides pointers organized by topic area to state government agencies and resources on the Internet.

* Indiana University Indiana University, main campus at Bloomington; state supported; coeducational; chartered 1820 as a seminary, opened 1824. It became a college in 1828 and a university in 1838. The medical center (run jointly with Purdue Univ.  School of Law's site (http://www.law.indiana.edu/law/states.html) and Chicago-Kent's Guide to Legal Resources (http://www.kentlaw.edu/lawnet/lawlinks.html) specialize in keeping track of state government.

* A state-by-state list of state and local governments, arranged according to executive, legislative or judicial branches, is available at http://www.piperinfo.com/~piper/state/states.html

* Other directories organized by topic include Yahoo (http:www.yahoo.com) a widely used site that includes pointers to other sites covering many different issues including political science, law and government.

* Yanoff's List (http://www.uwm.edu/Mirror/inet.services.html) is similar to Yahoo with information organized by topic.

* Search the World Wide Web using the various search tools such as InfoSeek's Net Search (http://www2.inforseek.com) or the Lycos Catalog of the Internet (http://one.srv.lycos.com). But be warned, a simple search can turn into hours of surfing; and could end at http://www.primus.com/staff/paulp/useless.html - a list of the top useless sites on the Web.
COPYRIGHT 1995 National Conference of State Legislatures
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:State Legislatures
Date:Dec 1, 1995
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