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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 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" 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 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 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 York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oregon Pennsylvania South Carolina South Dakota 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 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

* Census bureau information is available at

* The full text of U.S. Supreme Court decisions can be obtained through Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute site at

* The Cornell site (at 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 Executives (NASIRE) site lists state government resources at NASIRE provides pointers organized by topic area to state government agencies and resources on the Internet.

* Indiana University School of Law's site ( and Chicago-Kent's Guide to Legal Resources ( 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

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

* Yanoff's List ( 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 ( or the Lycos Catalog of the Internet ( But be warned, a simple search can turn into hours of surfing; and could end at - 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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