Easy to become an informed citizen

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Picayune Item readers will see that since the Mississippi Legislature has convened, the newspaper has been running stories on what local state senators and state representatives are doing in Jackson.

Sometimes the paper will run a list on the records page of bills drafted by the representatives and senators.

This information is not secret or for the media’s eyes only. It can be found on the Mississippi Legislature’s website, http://www.legislature.ms.gov.

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At the end of each day, the progress of every bill discussed in the state House and state Senate is posted on the website under daily action reports.

If a particular bill looks interesting, click on the bill number and a copy, it’s current status and list of its authors become available.

You also can look at individual legislators and what bills they’ve introduced and the progress of those bills.

Under the legislators tab, you will see a link to the senate and house rosters.

Those rosters include the names of each senator and representative, what committees they sit on and their contact information.

Some senators and representatives include their cell phone numbers.

This information is available to the public because it is information the public should know.

To be a responsible citizen, you must know what’s going on.

Don’t stop at the state level.

Check on U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators by visiting www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.

Similar information is on those websites.

If you see a bill mentioned in the news that you have questions about, read it and talk to those who wrote it.

As Alan Moore wrote, “Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it.”

Don’t deny yourself knowledge that is being offered.