Want to keep track of the status of a bill as it progresses through the California and federal legislatures? For California bills, you can view the current status of a bill at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. Let’s say, for example, that you want to track the status of Assembly Bill 48, which, among other things, would ban conversion kits for creating large-capacity ammunition magazines. To track this bill, you would click on the “Bill Information” link at the top of the homepage, then enter the bill number (48), select the session year (2013-2014), and then select the legislative house (Assembly). Your search takes you to a page with tabs for the full text of the bill, the voting record, the bill history, analyses, a mark-up showing how the bill would affect current law, and status information. If you click on the status information tab, it lists the last 5 actions related to the bill. If you want to be notified whenever there’s a new action, just click on the “Track Bill” link at the top of the page. Login with your email and password (registration is free), and choose the “notification points” you’d like to track – when the measure is referred to committee, when it’s amended, when it’s enrolled, etc.
Want to track a federal bill such as H.R. 138, which would also ban large-capacity ammunition magazines? Use www.govtrack.us. Enter “H.R. 138” in the search box, then click on the link for H.R. 13: Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act. The site includes a link to the bill text, lists the bill’s latest cosponsors, and lists the latest action on the bill. To receive email updates, select how often you want to track this bill (daily or weekly) and click the “save” button. Again, registration is quick, easy, and free.