National Association of Legislative Information Technology
2011 NALIT Professional Development Seminar
October 2-5, 2011, Portland, Oregon

Selected Session Summaries

Five Minutes of Fame: State Summaries 

During this session at the 2011 NALIT Professional Development Seminar (PDS), legislative IT staff prepared concise overviews of IT projects, accomplishments and current issues.

(See additional individual presentations here.)

Tim Rice, Illinois

  • Installing V-Brick products to handle audio/video needs
  • Expanding A/V by streaming live audio from House committee rooms
  • Migrated to Exchange 2010
  • Migrating from Windows Server 2003 to Window Server2008 R2
  • Refreshing chamber voting systems hardware
  • Implementing Cisco NAC solution
  • Implementing a new electronic witness slip system for House committees
  • Implementing new committee pages on web site
  • Digitizing minutes process
  • Rewriting bill status system
  • Beginning implementation of Model View ViewModel
  • Preparing to migrate from Office 2003 to Office 2010
  • Evaluating upgrade to Windows 7


Eric Dugger, Nevada


  • Implemented new website system (Nelis Nevada electronic legislative information system)
  • Installed Microsoft OCS with group chat
  • Development moving to only and c sharp


  • Legislators got new laptops with win7
  • Upgrading to office 2010 & exchange 2010
  • Barracuda web filter appliance worked well
  • Implementing enterprise calendar using EMS
  •  Implementing Microsoft project sever 2010 and ITIL methodologies
  • Implementing new network ... 10 GB and N wireless
  • Implementing New accounting system


  •  Looking for a new enterprise search
  •  Piloting meeting recording and minutes replacement system from Granicus


Peter Capriglione, North Carolina

  • Finished redistricting – has not cleared courts
  • Drafting software re-write
    • Move from browser dependence
    • Move from domino.doc to SQL for document storage
  • Bill status system improvement
  • Committee notice system re-write
    • Committee agenda writing and committee reporting to clerks’ office
  • Updates to Principal Clerk’s software suite (journal, calendar)
  • For all of above evaluating build vs. buy
  • Mixed environment of XP and Windows 7, waiting on new hardware approval for Windows 7 deployment
  • Enterprise wide content/document management system
    • Intra/internet
    • Evaluate SharePoint
  • Fiscal Research Budget Development System – Development
    • Purchased IBM’s Cognos TM1 and BI software
    • Hired consultant with Cognos experience to help develop and mentor IT staff
    • Implement in 2012 – with full implementation in 2013
  • IT committee mobile device (tablet) project
    • Evaluate iPad, Android devices for legislative business use
    • Pre-cursor to Chamber automation pilot for 2012 short session
  • Possible IRC voting system upgrade to .Net version for 2012 short session
  • Apps, apps and more apps
    • NCGA app wrapped to mobile site
    • Mobile site development
  • Exchange 2010 evaluation by infrastructure team
  • Disk space usage – so much data
  • Public Wifi in legislative buildings – awaiting approval


NALIT/RACSS Luncheon Discussions in Salem 


Seminar attendees were provided with a series of questions related to three topics: Virtual Meetings, Portable Devices, and Committee testimony / exhibit automation. Below are the discussion questions and responses.

Virtual meetings


  • Are members allowed to participate in legislative hearings/floor session via conference call or videoconference?
  • If so, are there restrictions (e.g., they cannot vote, only participate in informational type hearings) or criterion (e.g., must be due to inclement weather, need prior approval of President or Speaker, etc)?
  • Are your hearing rooms/Floors designed to allow for virtual participation (e.g., conference call system in hearing rooms)?
  • Are your policies set through chamber rules, directive from chamber leadership, etc.?
  • Are you using any software or tools for virtual meetings, i.e. Skype, Gotomeeting, etc.


  • If this is allowed virtual presence should be used – one step up from web conferencing
  • Don’t feel it should be used for Floor Sessions – only interim or emergency meetings
  • Alaska does allow voice conference call participation for committee meetings since their locations are so remote
  • Nebraska, Arkansas, Texas and Iowa do not allow any remote participation in committees or floor sessions and they are not considering it
  • A few states have allowed witness testimony remotely
  • In one state members would not want to do this, because they care about their per diem (possibly separate it into travel and time spent)
  • People farthest away who may want to participate remotely/virtually often have the worst connectivity
  • What about the perceptions of the media? Seems like members may get negative press if they are not at the meeting to participate
  • By participating remotely members would not have access to staff for questions and/or other members wouldn’t have access to discuss the varied positions with other members easily
  • Only way to participate remotely by a member should be by video – no teleconferencing
  • This is generational – younger members may do fine with this, but longer serving members may have a difficult time
  • Members can teleconference in committee with permission but cannot vote. The reason is the slippery slope of having members getting in the habit of working from home/district office.
  • Members can teleconference and vote in committee when permitted by leadership – this was allowed when inclement weather made travel to the capitol difficult.
  • People may testify via teleconference with approval of the chair.
  • The committee assistant/secretary controls teleconference through the computer.
  • Not using Skype or any similar video technology.
  • Committee rooms are controlled remotely.
  • If a committee travels, a laptop has software and one mic that picks up all conversation.
  • Wisconsin Members can be present via telephone for committee meetings if the chair decides that they can. It’s up to the discretion of the chair.
  • If the chair decides they can be present via telephone, then they are present in every sense of the word and can vote by phone.
  • Wisconsin does not have the technology to do video conferencing.
  • North Dakota Members and staff in use video conferencing for meetings, town halls, etc, but not for committee work.
  • Washington has tried video conferencing but feels it’s too much of a hassle/burdensome to set up and plan out.
  • Washington also felt slightly cost prohibitive.
  • Washington would like to see technology use driven by the consumer; that is, easy to use and low cost.
  • Kentucky has not rules about Members meeting via telephone, although some have done it.
  • Members s can vote after committee gavels out, but only if it does not change action (ie, allows them to show they votes).
  • Arkansas – cannot formally vote, but can "pair" vote (vote later for example, yes if one member earlier voted no, or no if another previously voted no.
  • North Dakota – person must attend in person
  • Nebraska – only Executive Board committee members can participate or vote virtually or via telephone
  • Nevada - has four designated sites around state where members, who cannot make it in, can participate (but must be at one of these four sites)

Portable devices


  • Are portable devices allowed in committee rooms during hearings/on floor while in session?
  • If so, what kind of devices are supported by your IS staff (Apple, computers only, tablets, etc.).
  • If devices are allowed in hearing rooms/floor, are there restrictions to what Members can do with them? (i.e., not use to IM others at dais, etc).
  • Are all portable devices used by Members/staff compatible with your network system?
  • Are you using any special tools to secure the use of mobile devices, i.e., mobile device management, virtual desktops, citrix?


  • Topic has been talked about extensively at the NALIT sessions
  • There were no additional ideas on handling portable devices, other than what states like Washington and Texas shared at the break out sessions

Committee testimony/exhibit automation


  • Do you have any requirements for people providing testimony to register in advance? If so, how far in advance?
  • Do they sign in electronically when they attend the hearing? Is the person’s name / personal information posted on your website?
  • If they plan on hand-outs to accompany testimony, do you require those in advance? If so, how far in advance? What is your policy If, after requiring materials in digital format in advance, people fail to submit them electronically? Do you require people presenting to bring paper copies of all materials as well as submit them electronically in advance?
  • Are these materials posted on a committee web page before and/or after hearings? Are they posted on the Internet for public viewing?
  • How long is this information maintained on your website?
  • Do you warn people testifying that personal information may be posted on the web (i.e., give disclaimer in hearing room, agenda, etc.)?
  • If a constituent sends information to Members and a Member gives it to committee staff, does this become part of the public record (and then gets posted to a web site)?


  • Arkansas put up interim exhibits on web, at least during interim, but not during session (when bills moving too fast)
  • North Dakota has a sophisticated electronic bill book system called LAWS they post exhibits to.
  • Nebraska has not done a lot to place committee exhibits on web


NALIT Seminar Agenda