2011-05-12 / News

Ruggiero pleased about improvement to Assembly Web site

State Rep. Deborah Ruggiero said that she is pleased the General Assembly has begun posting the results of committee votes on its Web site, as she had proposed in legislation she introduced last year and again earlier this year.

Starting this week, all legislation that is being reported out of House and Senate committees with a recommendation of passage will appear on the General Assembly Web site, listing the bill, the committee vote total and the way the members of the committee voted on each bill. That information will be posted following committee action and prior to the bills being placed on the House and Senate floor calendars. Previously, the only information included on the Web site about committee votes was any action a committee as a whole voted to take with each bill.

“Open and transparent government is really important to me. Constituents should know how we vote on the floor and in committee. Now they have access to that information. I’m proud that the General Assembly is working diligently to increase transparency and provide the public with easier access to information,” said Ruggiero, a Democrat who represents District 74 in Jamestown and Middletown, whose bill on the subject was introduced Feb. 15.

Since the beginning of this legislative session in January, all votes taken on the floors of the House or the Senate have been posted immediately on the General Assembly site, fulfilling a commitment made by House Speaker Gordon D. Fox and Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed to improve the transparency of legislative action. Both chambers also adopted new rules this year calling for committee vote results to be posted online this session.

To access the committee vote information, start at the General Assembly home page, click on “Legislation,” click on “Committee Votes” under the “2011 Legislative Session Information” heading, and then click on the particular committee for a dropdown list of vote dates. Clicking on a particular date will bring up all the bills voted out of the committee that day, and clicking on the word “Details” for each bill will bring up the committee vote breakdown.

“I hope that citizens will take advantage of this new way to keep up-to-date about the work of the General Assembly,” said Ruggiero. “Knowing where your legislators stand on the issues is important, and not just on Election Day. Feedback from our constituents has real influence on the way we vote, so I hope citizens will use this new tool to help keep track of their legislators’ positions, and be encouraged to contact us with their own thoughts.”

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