The single greatest concern for any lobbyist is the possibility that a bill exists that contains language they are opposed to, either at the time it was filed or through the amendment process, and they are unaware of it. That makes searching for bills the most important tool.
Keyword Search – In Oklahoma a bill can either create a new law, amend an existing law, or repeal an existing law. When a new law is created or an existing law is amended the bill must contain the new or deleted text. That makes a keyword search critical. That search must not only show that a word or boolean combination of words appears in a version of a bill but also show how those words are used in context. Decision makers can instantly add the bill into their tracks directly from the search. NIGHTWriter automatically performs this search daily and delivers it to you every morning.
Legal Citation Search – When an existing law is repealed, the language is not shown – only the citation of the section being repealed. That makes the Legal Citation Search the second mandatory type search because it shows not only bills that amend or create new law but also bills that repeal existing law. NIGHTWriter automatically performs this search daily and delivers it to you every morning.
Subject Search – This general search is helpful to locate similar legislation. When used in combination with other parameters in the Advanced Search can make a powerful and refined search function.
Author Search – Some members carry an entire legislative program for a constituent or will carry a number of bills of a certain type. This search, especially when combined with other parameters in the Advanced Search, can be very powerful.
Progress – Because each step of the legislative process has a statistical chance of a bill passing associated with that action, search by progress in the Advanced Search can provide valuable results, such as locating live bills that you can amend your dead bill into.
Companion – The companion search, either for all bills or for specifically bills you are tracking, can ensure that the legislature isn’t moving a bill through the process that you aren’t tracking but is the same as a bill that is stalled that you are tracking.