Archive for October, 2008

Review Government Oversight

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

The General Assembly has their very own government audit organization, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC), which is producing reports that you might just be interested in. JLARC exists to study the effectiveness of state government, and routinely publishes reports at the request of the General Assembly. Their most recent reports are on all sorts of interesting topics, including requiring insurance companies to cover autism treatment, concerns about the accuracy of the voter registration system, making preschool available for free as a part of the state public education system, state spending on meeting Standards of Quality for K-12 education, and even an annual study of state spending increases. Some studies are specific and timely, like their recent investigation into VCU awarding a degree to a former Richmond police chief despite that he hadn’t earned it. The fact that you’re reading Richmond Sunlight means that you’ll almost certainly find something well worth reading over at JLARC.

Prefiling is Underway

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

Although the General Assembly doesn’t convene for almost three months, bills are being prefiled by members of the house and the senate already. In addition to the 317 bills carried over from this year’s session, dozens have already been filed, with hundreds more trickling in over the six weeks, when the flood will begin. You can track them as they come in on Richmond Sunlight.

Richmond Sunlight Labs

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

Here’s one for the programmers: we’ve established Richmond Sunlight Labs. This is a section of the website where we can test out new features before they’re promoted on the rest of the website. Right now we’re letting people play with XML for legislators, so that web applications can gather real-time data about members of the General Assembly. And we’ve got a few other things under development that will be available in Labs in the coming months.