Xcential and LegiNation Collaborate to promote Open Government through Technology
New Database of Multi-State Legislation Improves Government Transparency
Washington DC – April 27, 2012 -
In advance of TransparencyCamp 2012, LegiNation today announced their collaboration with Xcential has progressed efforts to
improve transparency in government by making state legislative information more accessible. State-level issues are increasingly
creating national dialogue as legislation such as the “Stand Your Ground” laws are exported from state-to-state. By accessing data
using the LegiNation BillTrack50 database of state legislation, political professionals and activists can spot trending legislation
early, and take action to promote, block or improve laws as they are introduced.
Because there is no single nation-wide standard process and format by which bills are published, until now it has been difficult
and often expensive to find relevant legislative information in a single, searchable and shareable source. Access to bills, and
information about their introduction and progress, can be used to enhance collaboration between government and private organizations,
improve citizen participation and representation, and create a more open government.
Building on 10 years experience in legislation, Xcential created a new neutral format that can be used for all states. Xcential's
innovative technology transforms individual state bills into the single new standard format, allowing the documents to be read and
managed by applications such as a database or a content or document management system. LegiNation can then process the bills and
present them through the BillTrack50 search features, making it easier to find bills on a specific topic, regardless of the state
in which the bill was introduced.
Bradlee Chang of Xcential says “We are committed to improving the legislative process. Before BillTrack50 was launched, it was
difficult to get an accurate picture of what is going on across the states. Companies or interest groups often operate in more
than a single state and need to know how their organizations could be affected by legislation in multiple jurisdictions. Our mission
is to help people access the information they need to understand the law, and the people that shape it.”
In the spirit of transparency and in an effort to create a dialogue, LegiNation recently opened access to the BillTrack50 database
of state bills in a free search option. Now individuals can find relevant legislation across states, get informed, and take action
regarding new and proposed laws that affect their personal freedoms, interests and daily life.
Karen Suhaka, president of LegiNation , says the focus of this weekend’s Transparency Camp event is closely aligned with the intent
behind BillTrack50. “Like Transparency Camp, our aim is to help individuals, businesses and interest groups work better with their
government. Our technology collaboration with Xcential makes government data more accessible, creating a more informed consumer
and improving the chances of effective dialogue.”
Visitors to billtrack50 have access to an unlimited number of state-by-state
searches on keywords to find bills on topics that are important to them. BillTrack50 searches the full text of the bills, not just
the headline or title, making it significantly easier to discover relevant legislation that can be hidden within seemingly unrelated
bills. Bills can then be reviewed in full and shared with others via email, Twitter, a Website or blog by a permanent link.
Transparency Camp is an annual event where journalists, developers, technologists, policy-makers, government officials, students,
and academics gather to share knowledge about how to use new technologies and policies to improve the relationship between government
Xcential is a legal informatics technology company, working with legislative bodies and other organizations to improve their use of
technology. Xcential LegisPro products are used for bill drafting, amending, publishing, codification and conversion. Xcential's
LegisWeb product is a legislative research and tracking tool for legislative staff, lobbyists, interest groups and corporations.
LegiNation, Inc. was founded with the goal of making state level legislation more readily available to the professionals who need
it, and even more importantly to the public at large. We are building products and Websites to spark a renaissance in American
politics, leveraging the Internet to create the dialog so desperately needed amongst our elected officials, legislative
professionals, and everyday citizens.