The 50 States

Legislatures gradually say 'Yea' to technology<@VM>The 50 States: Delaware - Nevada<@VM>The 50 States: New Hampshire - Wyoming

What's up in your agency?

For governments east of the Mississippi, call 301-650-2145 or e-mail chouse@gcn.com.

For those west, call 301-650-2238 or e-mail twalsh@gcn.com.

By Claire E. House and

Trudy Walsh

GCN Staff

Lawmakers and their staffs rely on office computers for tasks such as communicating with constituents and drawing up draft legislation. And central staff members find systems indispensable for generating, amending and tracking legislation.

But technology's role in the democratic process is still being refined. This month's 50 States supplements the Page 1 story and other features that examine legislators' use of technology on the floor.

The 50 States chart details where legislatures stand in several systems categories.

While most states have some sort of office access to legislative systems, 15 have no legislature-sanctioned notebook action on the floor.

Interviews indicate that most states supporting notebooks do not mandate their use, so paper copies of legislation are still common. Rules about Internet and e-mail access during sessions also vary.

States are gangbusters on citizen access to legislation, however. Most have a searchable Web site for legislative text.

Digital tools will likely work their way onto legislature floors as they infiltrate American culture. At the very least, they will cut paper costs. They're already bringing citizens closer to the legislative process.

Perhaps technology ultimately will transform state governance as it has revolutionized communications and the economy.

We shall see.



























































































StateNotebook PCs for legislatorsChambers wired or wirelessCommittee rooms wired or wirelessHow legislators get bill info in chambers, if applicable, or in officesSearchable legislative database available over WebActivities televised through WebArchived video broadcasts on WebSome PDA synchronization
AlabamaNeitherIntranet, data download from client-server networkYesNo, but consideringNoNo
AlaskaNo
Staff only
NeitherWebYesNoNoNo
ArizonaIntranetYesNo
ArkansasWebYesNoNoNo
CaliforniaWeb, client-server networkYesNo
ColoradoSome wired, some wirelessIntranetYesNoNo
Connecticut
By summer
IntranetYes
Public TV
No
Standardized on Palms; planning legislation download via HTML































































































































































































































































StateNotebook PCs for legislatorsChambers wired or wirelessCommittee rooms wired or wirelessHow legislators get bill info in chambers, if applicable, or in officesSearchable legislative database available over WebActivities televised through WebArchived video broadcasts on WebSome PDA synchronization
Delaware
Limited users per room
Web, client-server networkYesNoNoNo
District of ColumbiaNo, but considering after upcoming moveNeitherNot applicableClient-server networkNo, but consideringNoNoNo
Florida
More than half; more to come
Client-server network; plans for intranetYes
In affiliation with public TV station
No
GeorgiaSome wiredWeb, intranetYesNo; audio only
HawaiiNoWebYesNoNoNo
IdahoWebYesNo; audio onlyNo
IllinoisNeitherIntranet, automatic data download from client-server networkYesNo, but consideringNoNo
IndianaClient-server networkYes
In testing phase
NoNo
IowaWeb, mainframe systemYesNo; audio onlyNo
KansasNo
One connection per room
WebYesNo; audio onlyNoNo
KentuckyNo
For use through loaner portable PCs; telecom room has permanent PC setup
Client-server networkYes
Public TV-run
Yes, someNo, but considering
LouisianaWeb, client-server network, mainframe systemYesYes; House only
Early stages
MaineNo; possible funding for 2001Web, intranetYesNo; audio only via intranetNoNo, but anticipating
MarylandSenate full, House one-thirdData download from network of intranet and client-server hybridYesNoNo
Early stages
MassachusettsNoNeitherNeitherWeb, mainframe systemYes, Senate onlyNoNoNo
MichiganSome Senate rooms wired, others being remodeled; no for House, which just moved into new buildingIntranetYes
Just went live
Undetermined for new setup
Senate only
MinnesotaSome wiredWebYes
Also state agency multicast
No, but considering
Early stages; looking to standardize
MississippiData download from client-server networkYesNoNoNo
MissouriPaper copiesYesNo; audio onlyNo; audio only
Limited support
MontanaNoNo; both wired by OctoberNo; wireless by OctoberWebYesNoNoNo
Nebraska
Unicameral legislature
Data download from client-server networkNoNo
NevadaWebYesNoNo; plans to by next session
































































































































































































































































StateNotebook PCs for legislatorsChambers wired or wirelessCommittee rooms wired or wirelessHow legislators get bill info in chambers, if applicable, or in officesSearchable legislative database available over WebActivities televised through WebArchived video broadcasts on WebSome PDA synchronization
New HampshireNoNo; one PC in House chamber provides Web and network accessNo; cyberroom has 10 PCs, reading room has threeClient-server networkYesNoNoNot at tech support level
New JerseyNo
But PCs not allowed

But PCs not allowedNo; cyberroom has 10 PCs, reading room has three
Web, intranet, client-server networkYesBeginning implementation, starting with audioYesNo
New Mexico
But PCs not allowed

But PCs not allowedNo; cyberroom has 10 PCs, reading room has three
IntranetYesNoNo
Pilot stage
New YorkNoNeither
Staff only
Client-server networkYesNoNoN/A
North Carolina
Installing now; legislators have not yet set rules to permit use

Installing now; legislators have not yet set rules to permit use
Intranet, client-server networkYesNo; audio onlyNoNot at tech support level
North DakotaA few wiredClient-server networkNo, but planning for 2001NoNoNo
OhioWebYesNo; internal only but plans to make Web-accessibleNo; internal onlyNo
OklahomaNeitherWeb, intranet, clinet-server networkYesNoNoNo
OregonNoWeb, intranetYesNo; audio onlyNo; audio only
Early stages
PennsylvaniaNeitherWeb, intranet, mainframe systemYesNo, but planningNoN/A
Rhode IslandSome wiredWebYesNo; but consideringNoNo
South CarolinaIntranet, WebYesNo
South DakotaWebYesNo; audio onlyNo; audio onlyNo
TennesseeNeitherClient-server networkYesNoNoNo
TexasWeb, mainframe systemYesYes
UtahWebYesNo; audio onlyNo; audio only
VermontNoNeither
One connection per room
Web; legislators don't have on-site offices but have PCs in several areasYesNoNoNo, but considering
Virginia

Senate

House and Senate
Web; considering download for passed legislationYesNo; internal onlyNo
WashingtonNeitherWebYesYes
West VirginiaNo
House only
NeitherWeb, mainframe systemYesNoNoNo
Wisconsin
House only; Senate no
Most wiredIntranetYesNo; audio onlyNo
WyomingNo
House only
NeitherWebYesNoNoNo

inside gcn

  • security compliance

    Security fundamentals: Policy compliance

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above