Committee substitutes online sooner in NC

February 19, 2009

When committee substitutes are reported to the floor,  in the past they had not been going on the North Carolina General Assembly website until the next edition of the bill is printed, which can be anywhere from an hour to ten hours later depending on workload. The new edition has a new version number in the upper right and is the same text as the committee substitute.

Effective this week, we are putting committee substitutes online as soon as they are reported in to the floor.  For example, on Senate Bill 35, Early Organizational Session where a committee substitute was reported in today, below are the status links, you can see that there is a hyperlink for committee substitute adopted, (hyperlinked quickly)which became Edition 2 (hyperlinked a few hours later)

02/03/2009 Senate Filed
02/04/2009 Senate Ref To Com On Rules and Operations of the Senate
02/19/2009 Senate Reptd Fav Com Substitute
02/19/2009 Senate Com Substitute Adopted
02/19/2009 Senate Placed On Cal For 2/19/2009
02/19/2009 Senate Passed 2nd & 3rd Reading
Text Fiscal Note
Filed [HTML]

Edition 1 [HTML]

Edition 2 [HTML]


I had reported earlier this session that floor amendents are now also linked online


We cut paper use by 36.8%

February 11, 2009

I had reported last month that we had made formatting changes in North Carolina legislative documents to make them 18.5% shorter in order to save paper and printing time. Now, we have cut the number of copies printed  for our printed bills office and member distribution from 355 to 275, a 22.5% reduction.  A lot of copies had wound up recycled at the end of session, and availability of the bills on the Internet had gradually reduced demand.  About 20 years ago we were printing around 500 copies of each bill.  If printed bills runs out of a specific bill, we print extras on demand.

The cumulative paper reduction (seen especially on longer documents) of the two actions reduces the amount of paper used by up to 36.8%. The reductions also save wear and tear on printing equipment and staff time producing and distributing bills.

N&O feature on Penny Williams 50th anniversary of hiring on NCGA staff

February 5, 2009

Penny Williams, Legislative Assistant to Senator David Hoyle, is featured in a great article in today’s News & Observer.  Penny’s first day of employment at the General Assembly was Februry 4, 1959. Penny is the only current legislative employee who worked for the General Assembly prior to its move from the Capitol to the new State Legislative Building in 1963.

Here are some excerpts from the story:

Penny Williams remembers when government was a smaller and simpler enterprise. When Williams first went to work for the state legislature, 50 years ago this week, the House, Senate, governor and other state officials all worked under one roof, that of the state Capitol. The legislature met every other year, and lawmakers did most of their work face-to-face, often at a hotel bar. …..

Williams has taken some breaks from the legislature over the past five decades. In 1960, in need of a full-time job, she went to work for the state Board of Barber Examiners. Years later, Williams stayed home with her son and daughter, and then she worked at her church. She returned to work for the legislature in 1986.  ….

For the past 14 years, Williams has worked as an aide and chief gatekeeper for Sen. David Hoyle, a Gaston County Democrat and co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. …..

Short titles added to RSS feed on new bills filings

February 2, 2009

For those of you who use a feedreader to keep up with news, our RSS feed on new bills  now includes the short title along with the bill number. Thanks to Kelly Stallings of our IT staff for the programming and Ryan Beckwith of Under the Dome for the prodding.

Other bill report feeds can be found linked here.

You can get feeds when you see images like this scattered around our website:

2009 NC legislative rules online

February 2, 2009

Rules for the 2009 Regular Session of the North Carolina General Assembly are now online:

The Senate permanent rules are here, while for the House of Representatives  you need to look at the House temporary rules for 2009, which reference the permanent rules for 2007 with updated deadlines.