Tag Archives: legislation

Tracking Legislation: GovTrack.us & LegiScan

GovTrackLegiScan_Logo_2

As legal information professionals, I am sure you have received requests to track proposed legislation. Changes in statutory law are obviously fundamentally important to the practice of law. The potential for legislative change creates an information need requiring a method of monitoring the status of proposed legislation as it bounces around the legislature. Thankfully, monitoring proposed laws/bills can be done electronically. In fact, there is an abundance of software and services that can accomplish this task. In the past, I have turned to subscription services to set these tracks up. Using a Westlaw, Lexis, or Bloomberg BNA is fine and will do the job of tracking legislation for you, but the drawback to these services is they cost money. Notably, there are alternatives on the web that track legislation, and do so for free. Continue reading

Review: Congress.gov > THOMAS

At the end of October, the law librarian’s most trusty resource for conducting federal legislative histories, THOMAS, will be sunsetted. I know many of you will miss its html-table, multi-hyperlinked design, the digital tic-tac-toe board of our country’s legislation. But, rather than having to crack open a hard copy volume of the United States Code Congressional and Administration News and stain its pages with your tears, you will be proud to know THOMAS will be replaced by the clearly superior congress.gov. We have to congratulate our Federal Government: the new site has successfully incorporated dynamic design and an easily navigable, logical layout. Continue reading