And now for something completely different…..
Last week, we announced some changes in the numbers for Massachusetts House and Senate versions of the Compassionate End of Life Care bills. But, curious minds would like to know how a voter could find information like that out for themselves. Thus, we will spend a few pixels today on malegislature.gov, and how to use it to search for bills of interest and/or legislative work of any particular member of the legislature.
This is actually a beautifully usable website with useful information on current bills, laws, legislators and commissions.
1 – Useful searchbox. Should you be looking for information on a particular bill, but only have a vague idea of its name, the search box at the top of the page will predict fairly well as you type. If you don’t see your bill listed, you can use the ‘See all results for this General Court’ which will get you an expanded list with filtering options
2 – Find your Legislators. If you are new to MA, or have recently moved within state, you might not know who your legislators are. The Legislators section of the front page lets you search for your MA representative or senator by list and with the ‘Find My Legislator’ feature you can even search by map.
3 – Hearings and Events. Upcoming hearings and events are listed here. When the house or senate is in session, you can watch the proceedings live.
4 – Easy to use Bills and Laws Section. Has your favorite bill already been passed by the house? Is it an amendment to a previous bill that is already law? Combining the main page for these two topics is among the best approaches to this content this reviewer has seen.
5- ++ Although not called out in red in the first image above, the main menubar on this site is also wonderfully useful. Some of these menu items provide another route to information presented in the main page, and some, like Committees & Commissions, are the main route to those sections.
In conclusion, this website is a great tool! Give it a spin sometime soon!