BY TAYLOR BENNETT, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT POLICY COORDINATOR, THE HUB
Last year, 1802 bills were introduced during the session. 1802 is a big number. Want to be able to keep track of those that interest you? We’ve got you covered.
Some of last year’s bills got lots of coverage, like the State Historic Tax Credit, and some not so much, like a bill that was introduced to regulate recreational drone usage or one related to barber’s apprenticeships.
It’s not because some bills aren’t worth following.
Tracking bills can be hard. The 60 day session moves quickly, and it can be easy to lose track as bills get swept up in the committee and amendment process. A personal bill tracker lets anyone see the status of bills that they have an interest in. So, whether you’re a barber, a drone enthusiast, or a policy coordinator at a community development organization, you can stay on top of what’s happening.
Here’s how to create your tracker…
Head to the Legislature’s website. This website can be a little counterintuitive, but if I can figure it out, you can too – promise.
1. Establish your tracker
- At the top, under the menu options, go to “Bill Status” and scroll down to “Bill Tracking.”
- The website directs you to a login screen. Find the “create a new account” link on the left.
- Once you fill out the form, the website directs you back to the login screen. Use your new username and password to log in.
2. Create a list or two
Once you’ve logged in, create a list or two. Having more than one list can help you stay organized, especially if you’re tracking bills for multiple reasons. For example, I have one list called “The Hub’s List” that I use to track bills for the policy team, and one called “Taylor’s List” that I use to track bills that I’m personally interested in.
- Click the “add list/bill” link on the right. This is also where you’ll add the bills you want to track. You can delete bills using the “delete list/bills” link on the right.
- If you click “my lists,” on the right, you’ll be able to select a list and view all the bills that you’re currently tracking on that list. Voila!
This bill tracker is very helpful, but it’s not perfect.
Here are a few thoughts about what it’s useful for and what some challenges might be:
- Pros: It lets you see the status of bills you have added to the tracker, making it easy to find out what actions, committee review, or votes come next for your bill.
- Cons: The bill must already be formally introduced to enter it into your tracker. While this may seem fairly obvious, the bill tracker can’t alert you to new bills which are being introduced.
The Policy Team here at The Hub will be using the Bill Tracker to keep an eye on the bills that we think will impact WV communities and community development. If you’re interested in seeing what we’re tracking, watch this section of the newsletter throughout Session. Happy tracking.
Interested in following the bills we’re tracking? Subscribe to The Hub’s Legislative Hubbub email, sent every Thursday during Session. Sign up now »