I heard a story on our local NPR station Friday morning about concerns some have raised about legislators serving on General Assembly committees with oversight of services or businesses in which the legislators have personal or professional interests outside their service in the state legislature. At the end of the story, the reporter mentioned a public interest group that was working to put the Code of Virginia online. I immediately thought about the very useful online Code already available through the Virginia General Assembly Legislative Information Service (LIS).
The LIS website includes a searchable database for the Code of Virginia, as well as a Table of Contents with links to each title and section of the Code. One of the great things about the LIS database is that it also includes links to the legislative history of each section of the Code at the bottom of the text of the current law. By linking back to the legislative history, you can see how the law has changed over time and if the law was different at some time relevant to your particular situation.
The LIS website also includes searchable databases for many past General Assembly sessions where you can see the history of bills and resolutions submitted in those sessions. It is a reliable source of information on the status of bills and resolutions while the General Assembly is in session each year, as well.
I don’t know exactly what the public interest group has in mind for its online Code of Virginia, but the Virginia General Assembly’s Legislative Information Service already has provided a very useful tool for anyone interested in current statutory law and legislative history in Virginia.
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