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Tag Archive: Online Reporting

States Lead on E-Filing, Will the Senate Catch Up?

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It seems our Senators have a thing or two learn from their home states when it comes to campaign finance reporting: 31 states currently require mandatory electronic reporting ("e-filing") of their elected representative's campaign finance records -- a leap above our Senate, which has failed to pass no-brainer e-filing legislation for over a decade. Sunlight conducted a review of the current state of similar filings in the states (see chart below), and the results are pretty surprising -- in a great way. State governments across the country -- 92% of them, in fact -- require at least optional, if not mandatory electronic filing for both houses of their bicameral legislatures.

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Finding Bills Online

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It would be nice to know why the Government Printing Office takes so long to take a bill and put it online so that I can access it on Thomas. Yesterday, I tried to read the lobbying and ethics reform bill currently being debated on the Senate floor, bill number S. 1, and found that it was not online at Thomas because it takes a day or two for the GPO to print a bill. Of course, S. 1 was introduced last week but the GPO says that it might take longer when a lot of bills are introduced at once (members of the House introduced over 300 bills last week, Senators introduced over 100). Is there some actual explanation for this delay other than aimless bureaucracy and backwards computer technology. If I had just drafted a bill I could post the entire thing on this blog right now, but for some reason Members of Congress cannot post bills immediately online?

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