The Texas Tribune, a fantastic online news source, has created a first-of-its-kind online data-driven application that allows you to search and track legislation in the current legislative session. As explained in detail (and video) below, the application allows you to search by category, bill number, author, caption, and description. While the Texas Legislature's website allows for some of this functionality, the Texas Tribune's app is far more robust, and seems to be much easier to use.
by Matt Stiles and Travis Swicegood
January 19, 2011
With the 82nd Legislative Session in only its second week, Texas lawmakers have already filed more than 900 bills — potential laws addressing hundreds of subjects ranging from abortion and immigration to health care and wrongful imprisonment.
Our latest data-driven application, released today, aims to help Texans make sense of the legislative process, tracking proposed pieces of legislation as they move through the Texas House and Senate during the next five months.
Users can search the bills by their assigned numbers, subject categories and captions, the short descriptions of each bill's intended purpose. Users can also search the bill by each author’s name. The application is also designed to put the data in context, giving users the ability to understand potential legislation in ways that traditionally would be used by reporters to write text stories.
The application, which will be updated early each morning, shows which lawmakers have filed the most bills and which subjects are the most popular. It also splits those figures out by political party and chamber.