The Alaska Legislature’s website has received a makeover, just in time for the start of the new legislative session on January 20. The new user-friendly site, which has been redesigned for the first time in seven years, allows information to be accessed more easily and on a variety of platforms.
After being in the works for six months, the website went online for the first time on Dec. 26. Sue Cotter, Manager of Information and Teleconferencing for the Alaska Legislature’s Information Office in Juneau, said that the goal of redesigning the website was to make it more accessible.
“We’re always striving to make it easier for the public and state employees to use,” Cotter said.
One of the biggest changes is the construction of a new version of the Bill Action Status Inquiry System.
BASIS allows people to follow the status of a bill, as well as search for bills by sponsor, topic and number. BASIS also gives users access to audio and minutes of legislative sessions. Cotter said the previous version of BASIS will also be available until next summer in order to ensure that if there are glitches, people can still make searches, and, at the same time, allow people to adjust to the new version.
For people wishing to
access the site using a tablet or phone, the new design automatically resizes to fit screens of various size.
Other key features are the navigational tools, according to an e-mail from Alyson Stogsdill at the Kenai Legislative Information Office. Tabs at the top of the website should allow for easier access and site navigation.
Past legislative members will be directly searchable from a “Past Members” link. Currently, the members of the 28th Legislature are still listed as active, but the 29th Legislature members will be displayed closer to when the new sessions starts.
In an e-mail from Cotter, www.alaskalegislature.tv, which used to be a standalone site, has now been integrated into the new website.
People wishing to view live committee meetings can do so via the “Live Now” tab.
Cotter said that in the future, the Legislative Information Office will try to make improvements to the site in order to keep up with modern technology.
“We’ll utilize new technology,” Cotter said.
“With technology being the way it is, we’ll have to see what our IT (department) comes up with.”
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