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Laws, Legislative Materials, and Legal Issues at State Agency Databases Project

This week’s State Agency Databases Project subject highlight is Laws, Legislative Materials, and Legal Issues, featuring 48 states that project volunteers know to have publicly searchable databases in this subject area. Three examples from this compilation are:



Alaska Case Law Service – This database provides opinions and some supporting documentation for cases decided by Alaska’s appellate courts since 1960. It is searchable by keyword, citation, decision date, party name, judge and opinion type and by docket number or counsel. This service is operated by Westlaw on behalf of the Alaska Court System.



Legislative Histories, 1865 to current – Do you want to see if the Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau has compiled a legislative history on a law you’re interested in? Search by bill type, number, year or keyword.



Eye on Lobbying – From the website, “Using the search options on the menu to the left, you may search for: 1) All lobbying principals, licensed lobbyists, and state agency officials or liaisons; 2) “Principal Interests By Keyword” allows you to search by keyword for the business interests and areas of lobbying interest submitted by lobbying principals; 3) “Changes To Lobbying Registry” allows you to search for recent changes to authorized lobbyists, lobbying principals, and licensed lobbyists.”

For more, see http://godort.libguides.com/lawsdbs. If you know of state agency produced databases in this area, either comment here or use the “Email me” link on the guide to report a database, which will be forwarded to the appropriate project volunteer.

New Database: “See Who’s Lobbying the California Legislature”

Via INFOdocket

From California Watch:

California interest groups have filed nearly 7,000 reports in the first half of 2011 disclosing what bills and issues they have lobbied in state government. We’ve taken those forms and created a one-of-a-kind database that allows you to search who is lobbying any bill before the Legislature.

Simply type a bill number into the system and get a list of all the interests that declared an intent to lobby that bill on their Form 635s [PDF].

There are a few important caveats to keep in mind.

In order to extract the individual bills from the filings, California Watch relied on human data entry workers — a necessity, given the varied, unstructured nature of the filings. Anytime human beings perform large-scale data entry, some errors are inevitable. We took a statistically significant sample of our data entry results and found that between 2 and 7 percent of the records in the database likely had some kind of problem caused by human error: mostly typos and omissions.

We fixed the most obvious issues, but the point remains: Don’t look at these results as gospel. Each result returned by our database also includes a link to the original reports, so if something looks out of place, by all means verify it.

Read Additional Caveats and Access the Database Here

See Also: More California Watch Online Databases