Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Kudos to Utah's Legislature

I generally have been rather critical of Utah's legislature. Most likely, this results from the fact that I have a minority opinion within the State of Utah and many of the actions of Utah's legislature is in disagreement with how I would do things if I were in charge. But, as an old-timer to observing the legislature and reviewing bills of interest, I would like to compliment the increasing transparency that exists with the legislature through their website and the ability to track a bill's status, it's amendments and it's substitutes with an ease that 15 years ago would have seemed preposterous.

The webite, located at: is extremely helpful if you are interested in a bill or would like to a little information on the sponsor(s) of a bill. So often, bills have conflicts of interest to a sponsor that is neither reported by Utah's weak and lazy press, nor acknowledged by the sponsor. This is my first year as a blogger, and I look forward to observing the legislative process and commenting on legislation of interest. We as citizens have far more tools today to hold legislators accountable than at any time in our history as a state, and I fully plan on taking advantage of it. I also compliment those legislators who blog, who open themselves to possible dispute and criticism. I may vehemently disagree with their opinions, but I appreciate them expressing them so I atleast know where they are coming from.

Also, another note about the legislative website. Accessing the Utah Code from that website is quite easy and helpful. Never before has Utah's laws been so accessible to the general public. For all the criticism of government that goes on, I also think it is important to note when government gets it right. The Utah Legislature's website gets it right.


David said...

I have seen that the site has won awards for being the best government website for a couple of years - it's nice to hear those awards backed up by the experience of citizens.

Obi wan liberali said...

You bring up a good point David. To Utah Government's credit, they do a pretty good job of utilizing the web. Whether it is access to online forms, or the ability to renew your vehicle registration online, state administrators deserve considerable credit.

What I like about the legislature's site is the ease of getting information that back when I used to spend alot more time on the hill (back in the 80's and 90's) is so much better that I think some credit is due. The challenge is to get more citizens engaged into what is going on during the legislative session.