Keeping up with bills in the end game

June 2, 2009

As bills pass both house and make there way to and fro the Governor’s office (or in the case of local bills, become law immediately), the North Carolina General Assembly has several resources to keep up with new laws:

1) Bills about to be ratified — bills are usually ratified the next legislative day after they are ordered enrolled. Ratification is the stage where bills that have passed both houses have a true copy prepared and are signed by the presiding officer of each house. They are not yet law.

2) Bills pending on the Governor’s desk (this is usually not updated for about 12 hours after the bill is delivered or comes back from the Governor.

3) Enacted laws, showing those public bills  signed by the Governor in order of  bill number,  and showing all enacted laws in order of enactment date (includes public and local), and by bill number (also includes resolutions)

You can also find here a spreadsheet showing which General Statutes and uncodified session laws have been affected by new laws and bills pending ratification


Finding Dan Blue’s votes

June 1, 2009

I’m continuing to get inquiries about Dan Blue’s service in both the House and Senate during the 2009 North Carolina legislative session. While this is nothing new (Dan is the sixth Representative to move over the the Senate since 1943), I still get inquiries about whether he can vote in the same bill in both houses (yes)  and where to find his votes.

Senator Blue shows in our legislative website and linked databases as both a Senator (with votes cast as a Senator) and as a Representative (with votes cast as a Representative here).

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

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:

NC floor amendments online

January 31, 2009

We’ve added another upgrade to the North Carolina legislative website — copies of floor amendments beginning with opening day of the 2009 Regular Session. In the past, to get a floor amendment, you had to go to the bill books in either of the two legislative libraries, where copies of all amendments were filed  within 24 hours with the bill they relate to.

Now, floor amendments (whether passed or failed) will be scanned and uploaded with a link to the bill status page.  For example, there were three floor amendments to Senate Resolution 1. For those amendments prepared by staff, the barcode when scanned links the amendment to the correct bill status page.  The upload is NOT a MSWord document, but a .pdf of a scan (note the three amendments  to SR1 all have handwritten material on them), and some floor amendments are entirely in handwriting.

Here is a cut and paste of the bill status page for SR1, note the hotlinks to the amendments: Read the rest of this entry »

Archived audio of 2009 NC House now online

January 30, 2009

Archive audio of daily North Carolina House of Representatives floor sessions is now available on the official North Carolina House website.

I had noted last year that voterradio. com had archived audio of the 2008 House and Senate sessions online.

new email addresses over at the NCGA, but don’t worry

January 15, 2009

Our primary email addresses at the NC General Assembly have changed again, though the old ones will still operate as aliases for the forseeable future, so need to worry about your address books.

When we moved into the internet age in the late 1990s, we started with the balky email server and domain name <> Now, THAT was a mouthful. Evenetually, we went to <> as an easier to remember moniker. Mail sent to <> still automatically forwards!

Before the @, we used to be firstnamelastinitial  which lead to a lot of problems when different persons had the same first name and the same first letter of a last name, we kept adding letters, like (all hypothetical names) in order of employment: Pat Richards Pat Richardson Pat Ricco

Now, we we have moved to firstname.lastname  or when two persons have the same first and last name, the second one gets firstname.middleinitial.lastname

For those of you out there using our email addresses, no need to change them, though I found that when I changed from gerryc to gerry.cohen at the beginning of the month, listservs began rejecting my posts as they could not find me on their list of approved senders/members.

I’m not listing any full email addresses in this post lest they be indexed by spambot spiders and my spam increases from 98% to 99%, but you can find me at gerry.cohen @ (remove spaces) instead of gerryc @ (remove spaces). 

gerryc @ still works

My first internet email address?  Spam that at will, I closed my account in 1995.