Skip to main content

Texas Legislature to Consider Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act

Yesterday, the Texas House of Representatives committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence favorably reported on HB 1799, a bill that would make the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) law in Texas. The purpose of the proposed law is to ensure that official electronic legal materials, such as the Texas Constitution, statutes, and state agency rules, are authenticated, preserved, and accessible by citizens online. The bill is authored by Rep. Senfronia Thompson, of District 141 in Houston. Now that the bill has been favorably reported out of committee by unanimous vote, it will be placed on the calendar for debate and vote in the Texas House of Representatives.

Already law in twelve states, UELMA provides a technology-neutral, outcomes-based approach to ensuring that online state legal material deemed official will be preserved and will be permanently available to the public in unaltered form. While readers may be aware that the text of the Texas Constitution, Texas statutes, and regulations are available to view online, UELMA would require that the materials be authenticated, preserved, and permanently available to the public. An authentic text is one “whose content has been verified by a government entity to be complete and unaltered when compared to the previous version approved or published by the content originator.” American Association of Law Libraries, State-By-State Report on Authentication of Online Legal Resources (2007). Authentication provides assurances to users that the constitutional provisions, laws, and regulations promulgated on official state websites are in fact the unaltered and verifiable law of the state.


You can read the committee’s analysis of the bill, as well as the text and the fiscal note on the Texas Legislature Online website. For more information about UELMA, read the Frequently Asked Questions created by one of UELMA’s chief supporters, the American Association of Law Libraries. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Congressional Report on the Executive Authority to Exclude Aliens Released Days Before Immigration Ban

On January 27 President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States. Four days earlier, on January 24, the Congressional Research Service released its own report:  Executive Authority to Exclude Aliens: In Brief.
To those unfamiliar, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a federal legislative branch agency, housed inside the Library of Congress, charged with providing the United States Congress non-partisan advice on issues that may come before Congress, including immigration.
Included in the report are in-depth discussions on the operation of sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) in the context of the executive power . Discussions of sections 212(f),  214(a)(1) and 215(a)(1) report on how the sections have been used by Presidents, along with relevant case law and precedents. Most interesting is the list of executive orders excluding some groups of aliens during past presidencies; the table all…

GAO Launches Government Transition App

Want to learn more about the upcoming presidential and congressional transitions? There’s an app for that. 

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently launched its Priorities for Policy Makers app (available free of charge for iPhone or Android), which is intended to “help President-elect Donald Trump and the next Congresstackle critical challenges facing the nation, fix agency-specific problems, and scrutinize government areas with the potential for large savings,” according to Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO. The app allows users to search by agency or topic, and provides brief summaries of relevant issues as well as links to more detailed GAO reports. 

You can also find GAO priority recommendations on the agency’s Presidential and Congressional Transition web pages.