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Welcome back to Data First

Spring is the season of new beginnings. In the U.S. Senate, there are calls for the discontinuation of an outdated process called conceptual markups, where legislation is debated and examined as a “detailed narrative” rather than the actual legislative text. Senators, their staffs, and the public should have access to the actual text of legislation under consideration and the tools necessary to search, compare, and fully interpret it. A Data First approach makes it easy.

We’re also excited to announce that a new video series focused on legislative modernization efforts around the world is out today. The series, produced by Brazilian-based Bússola Tech, is titled LegisTech: The Transition Towards a Digital-Ready Legislature. New episodes will be released weekly and access is totally free. (Xcential is delighted to be a sponsor of the series.)

As always, if you have any questions about Data First or any feedback, please don't hesitate to reply directly to this email. We'd love to hear from you.

Mark Stodder

FEATURED STORIES

New video series focused on legislative modernization efforts around the world drops today! Watch for free.

It is the first global series focusing on digital transformation in legislative processes and will feature exclusive content from dozens of governments around the world. The extensive video series will feature firsthand accounts of how innovative technologies have impacted government legislative processes, improved effectiveness, and helped maintain continuity.

New episodes will be released weekly and access is totally free. Every episode, more than 40 hours of audiovisual content in total, will be available throughout 2021. Subtitles in English and Portuguese are available.

Learn more about the LegisTech series

From Conceptual Markups to Actual Text: How a Data First Approach can Help the Senate Finance Committee

Conceptual markups are defended as promoting discussion and amendments in clear and concise layperson's terms. In a recent article, “Senators should know precisely what they’re voting on,” No Labels’ Nancy Johnson quickly dispels this notion. “While plain English is laudable (and surely Congress could use more of it), it’s less important than allowing committee members and staffers to see the exact language at stake.”

Last month, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) proposed that it’s time for the Finance Committee to get rid of conceptual markups and move to actual text instead. With the Data First approach in place, Cornyn’s proposal becomes a lighter lift, pointing to a time when Senators, their staffs, and the public can have real-time access to the actual text of legislation under consideration and the tools necessary to search, compare, and fully interpret it.

Read the full article

First Look: New Comprehensive Data First Infographic

Transforming legislative and regulatory processes by adopting a Data First approach enables increased efficiency and accountability for governments and transparency for the public, but it can seem like a dizzyingly complex process. Learn about the basics in our new Data First infographic, featuring sections on: Data First 101, an introduction to LegisPro, a simplified pathway to successful implementation, and an outline of benefits that flow from creating and managing legislative and regulatory materials as Data First.

View the Data First infographic

EVENTS AND RESOURCES

The International Conference on Legislation and Law Reform
October 21-22, 2021 | Washington, D.C.

National Association of Legislative Technology Virtual Meetings Series
A continuing series of webinars from the National Association of Legislative Technology, replacing NALIT’s in-person gatherings. The sessions feature legislative technology experts from statehouses around the U.S., focusing on current issues from the latest in bill drafting technology to cybersecurity.

RELACS Virtual Meetings Series
RELACS professional association – a wing of the U.S. National Conference of State Legislatures – is presenting a multi-part series of interactive webinars and virtual meetings geared toward legislative staff who conduct research, draft and edit legislation, examine legal issues, and staff legislative committees. A big focus has been on the transition to remote working for legislative drafters, editors and support staff.

Making Laws in a Post-Modern World: Are You Ready?
The 20th Annual Legislative Drafting Conference of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice this fall focused on the changing technology of legislative drafting and its impact on lawmaking.

LegisTech for Democracy
Bússola Tech, the legislative technology incubator based in São Paulo, marked the International Day for Democracy by gathering presentations from more than 20 Parliament houses around the world, focusing on the rapid technology and legislative data transformations forced by the Covid pandemic.

The Data Coalition
A busy calendar ahead of webinars and online gatherings focused on government data policy, from regulatory and legislative data standard to best practices for government transparency and reporting.

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