Tracking the state Senate

From the Times Union:

New Yorkers interested in tracking the flow of legislation in the Capitol have a free option this year.

Last summer the state Senate rolled out the beta version of a program that allows registered users to keep tabs on bills and committees during the legislative session. The service is a little clunky, but it helps people interested in the legislative process stay in the know.

“The New York State Senate’s bill status alerts make it easy for you to stay up-to-date on the bills that are important to you in the New York State Legislature. Subscribers receive timely email notifications for important milestones in the life cycle of a bill,” according to the website.

In order to utilize the Senate’s program, you need to supply a name (a fake one works), valid address and email address. Nearly 30,000 people signed up to track legislation, and the most popular bill has more than 2,000 followers.

According to the site, you can receive an email alert when a bill is referred to a committee, amended, voted on, delivered to the governor and most other significant steps along the way to becoming a law. (The system worked as advertised on Friday when the governor signed two bills.)

The new service is unlikely to attract lobbyists and government affairs professionals, who already utilize the legislature’s premium service (that costs money) or the private competitor (New York StateWatch).