Monday, January 08, 2007

Keeping track of things...

The state legislature has a wonderful tool on its Web page that allows residents to keep track of what's happening in Hartford. It's called "Bill Tracker," and how it works is like this...

You can select a specific bill, or list the names of any and all legislators you have an interest in, and ech time they file a bill - and as that bill makes its way through the legislative process - you get an email telling you that something has happened. You can learn what legislation your lawmaker is proposing, co-sponsoring and when and where hearings on those bills will be held.

Admittedly, it does get a bit hectic and you'll get lots of emails as more than 6,000 individual bills are submitted, so patience is a virtue.

The one draw back to the system is that later on in the session, when individual bills start to get blended in with other bills, and committees rather than individual lawmakers get listed as the "new" sponsor, you can lose track of some of them. But, depending on how interested you are in a particular issue or lawmaker, it is a great way to stay on top of things.

For example...a quick scan this afternoon of what bills have already been filed from the eastern Connecticut delegation produced this one:

It seems state Sen. Edith Prague, D-Columbia, has introduced a bill designed to elliminate the Electoral College as the means by which we elect our president - replacing it with an agreement among states to use the popular vote to determine the outcome of presidential elections.

The bill has been forwarded to the legislature's Government, Administration and Elections Committee. No date for a public hearing has yet been set.


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