Monday, January 9, 2012

Sen. Pileggi Asks Public's Help To Improve General Assembly Web Presence

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware) Monday asked the public to share ideas on how to improve the General Assembly's website and its overall web presence.
            "The General Assembly's website should be as advanced, intuitive and valuable as possible," said Sen. Pileggi. "With the emergence of social media and other web-based technologies that can help people be fully engaged in the legislative process, it is time to ask our customers – the citizens of Pennsylvania – for their ideas on how we can improve the user experience."
            Over the past five years, upgrades to the General Assembly's website have dramatically increased public access to legislation and the legislative process, including the addition of roll call votes, fiscal notes, and co-sponsorship memos.
            Sen. Pileggi, who serves as chairman of the Legislative Data Processing Committee and has been a leading proponent of government transparency, urged people to start an immediate conversation about improving the General Assembly's web presence by tweeting to @SenatorPileggi and using the Twitter hashtag#PAGAwebideas.
            Sen. Pileggi said he has already asked the Legislative Data Processing Center to create a Twitter feed which will send automatic tweets when roll call votes are posted, when committee meetings are scheduled, and when Legislative Journals (containing the full text of floor debates) are available.
            "Like their constituents, more and more Pennsylvania legislators are making good use of Twitter and other social media – and there are ways the General Assembly as an institution can do the same," said Sen. Pileggi. "Creating these automatic tweets will be a useful way to help keep the public informed about what the General Assembly is doing. I believe Pennsylvania will be one of the first states in the nation to provide this service."
            Suggestions from the public on how to improve the legislature's mobile website, are also encouraged.
            "No suggestion is too large or too small," Sen. Pileggi said. "The more ideas we get, the better the General Assembly's web presence can be."
            Sen. Pileggi said he will schedule a public hearing on this topic for Wednesday, March 7. Anyone who would like to testify at the hearing, or submit ideas for improving the General Assembly's web presence, can send email to:, tweet to @SenatorPileggi, tweet using the hashtag#PAGAwebideas, or send postal mail to Sen. Pileggi, 350 Main Capitol, Harrisburg, PA 17120.
            Requests to testify should include a summary of the proposed testimony. Written testimony will also be accepted and considered.
            "My goal is for the General Assembly's web presence to be among the best in the nation," said Sen. Pileggi. "Getting ideas directly from the public is the best way to make that happen."
            Other members of the Legislative Data Processing Committee include Speaker of the House Sam Smith (R-Jefferson), Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Richard Kasunic (D-Somerset), House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny), Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman (R-Centre), Rep. Michael Peifer (R-Monroe), Sen. Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia), and Rep. Robert Matzie (D-Allegheny).

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