03/20/13 The Indiana House Republicans, led by House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis), are providing a new way for the public to access up-to-date information on legislation. The caucus will send out text message updates on certain bills as they make their way through the legislative process.
“We must continue to embrace technology and consider new ways to communicate to the public while providing transparency. This is a great way to get more people involved with what’s happening at the Statehouse,” said Speaker Bosma.
This decision to provide text updates on bills is an extension of the transparency initiatives launched by Speaker Bosma in previous years. In 2005, Speaker Bosma began live streaming House floor proceedings. In 2011, he made every House committee meeting available via the Internet. In January, the Speaker hosted the first ever “tweet seats”, the only state to host an event of its kind, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, where seats are reserved for certain members of the public to tweet during the governor’s the State of the State address.
SMS, or Short Message Service, is a text messaging-based service that allows multiple contacts to sign up and receive messages. The House Republicans will utilize SMS to track and inform the public of the progression of House bills emphasizing the Own Your American Dream agenda released in November 2012 as well as other House bills of high interest.
Currently, the House bills included in the service are:
- HB 1001: Budget
- HB 1002: Indiana Career Council
- HB 1003: School Scholarships
- HB 1004: Early Education Scholarship Pilot Program
- HB 1005: Remediation
- HB 1006: Criminal Code
- HB 1007: Online Sales Tax Collection
- HB 1008: Various Education Matters
- HB 1040: Child in Need of Services Petitions
- HB 1041: Petitions to Modify Custody and Visitation
- HB 1123: Child Fatality Reviews and Commission on Children
- HB 1334: Various Education Matters
- HB 1387: Veterans’ Service Officers
- HB 1483: Drug Testing
- HB 1524: Synthetic Drugs
While the service is free with no subscription or fees, standard text messaging rates may apply through individual carriers. Users will also have the option to leave the service at any time.
“As we continue to provide new transparency initiatives, it is my hope to expand this service to a more conclusive list of bills over time. It is imperative that the legislature be able to communicate in a variety of ways that is most conducive to the people that we serve,” said Speaker Bosma.
Anyone interested can sign-up for the text messaging service by visiting http://inhousegop.us