A site/application where groups post formal comments on bills pending in the NYS Senate and NYS Assembly. NYS has a process by which groups (companies, associations, not-for-profits, etc.) can comment on a bill introduced in either house.
These typically take two forms:
• Memorandum in Support
• Memorandum in Opposition
Submission of these is prevalent especially when a specific bill is to be considered by a particular committee in either house or on the floor for a vote, etc. These documents are important tools - in that these are intended to be brief statements of concern, support, questions, etc. from affected parties.
What we have in mind is a web site where – in one centralized location – these could be collected and available to policymakers and others for review and information. There would be a need to approve, secure or verify the posting in some way (either by a “user” or an email communication to a certain address in order to “approve” or “verify” so as to help prevent fraudulent post? Perhaps a process similar to craigslist’s, which requires poster to verify at a web link? Can be revised/edited thereafter from same link).
There might be several memoranda (3 or 5 or even more) on a single bill. It is often the case that bills are amended, at which point memoranda on the amended versions are submitted as well.
Each memorandum could also have unique address on our site – which could be used in other platforms (e.g., e-advocacy campaigns, email messages, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
There would likely be two lists – one for the Senate and for the Assembly, but otherwise identical, generally as follows:
Senate (or Assembly) Bill number – link to official site/actual legislation
(w or w/o link)
Oppose (check box?)
Link to pdf version of document
Business Council of NYS
Environmental Advocates of New York
Independent Oil & Gas Association of NY
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Posting on this site would be free – site would be supported by online advertisements.
Bills have a life of up to 2 years, during a particular “legislative session” (e.g., 2009-2010, 2011-2012, 2013-2014, etc.). Bills “die” at the end of each even-numbered year, at which point the process begins again.