July 28, 2010
How Do You Like Them Apples! Washington State’s Website Wins National Award
Evergreen State is honored for outstanding achievement in educating the public about its Legislature.
LOUISVILLE, KY.— It may be Washington, but there is nothing evergreen about this story! The Washington Legislature has been honored for having a superior legislative website.
It took home the award for producing an outstanding legislative website this week during the National Conference of State Legislatures' (NCSL's) 2010 Legislative Summit in Louisville, Ky. This is the first time the Legislature has been awarded this honor.
Since 2005, NCSL's Online Democracy Award has been given each year to a legislature, legislative chamber or caucus whose website stands out for making democracy user-friendly.
“Staff throughout the Washington state Legislature have worked diligently to make it easy for the citizens of Washington State to access information by and about the Legislature, said Brad Hendrickson, deputy secretary of the Senate. “It is a great testament to the staff involved that our site has received such recognition."
The Washington Legislature’s website won for providing extensive information that is simple to find and understand, for its easy and accurate search function, downloadable web services, and for student pages geared to different grade levels.
Some of the other notable winning features of the website include:
- Detailed explanations on web pages about available functions and features.
- Voluminous reports and data.
- Print and Spanish versions of web pages.
- Site accessibility and prominent information related to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“Earlier, we received accolades from Congress.org for having one of the best legislative websites in the country, but this award is even more gratifying since it comes from our peers in other states,” said Bernard Dean, deputy chief clerk of the House.
The Online Democracy Award is sponsored by two of NCSL's staff sections—the National Association of Legislative Information Technology (NALIT) and the Legislative Information and Communications Staff (LINCS). Previous winners of the NCSL Online Democracy award include the legislatures in Tennessee, Utah, New Jersey, Minnesota and Texas.
NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.