The Oklahoma State Senate has launched a new Web site designed to increase public access and understanding of the legislative process. The changes include a simplified URL or Web address, more intuitive navigational tools, better graphics and other improvements to help the public follow events in the senate.
“Our goal is to open wider the doors to the legislature through the use of the most up-to-date technology available. We want you to know what is going on at the Capitol because we believe an informed electorate is an essential element of good and efficient government,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson.
Senator Hobson’s comments are part of a digital audio greeting available on the Web site which can be found at www.oksenate.gov.
The Web site has links to allow users to download current legislation, committee information, a program to help citizens identify their lawmakers, biographical information about senators and downloadable high-resolution photos. Users can also access press releases, digital audio clips and view images of original artwork displayed at the State Capitol. Additional features will be available in the near future.
“Soon, you will be able to follow debate on the senate floor through a link to the Web site of the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority and a live internet audio feed,” said Senator Hobson. The audio link will enable internet users to follow legislative action in real time directly from the senate chamber.
Senator Hobson said all of the improvements to the Web site were created in-house using senate staff to do the design work, thereby saving tax dollars. Other savings have already been realized by making the daily journal, legislation and other documents available online.
“We’ve already been able to see significant cost reductions by using the internet to make these documents available to the public. But more than that, we’re also making it easier for the public to follow what we’re doing here in the legislature. That in turn will help us to do a better job on their behalf,” said Hobson.