Tag Archives: websites

Legislature’s website redesigned

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A redesigned website for the Tennessee General Assembly features upgrades to bill tracking and video streaming functions.

Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says the redesign is meant to make state government “more open, more transparent and customer-friendly.”

The site last previously redesigned in 2008 has a new theme and layout that is meant to make it easier to find information about lawmakers and legislation. It is also designed to display and stream video to all major mobile devices.

The new site offers users the ability to track as many bills as they want, up from the three-bill limit in the previous version. And the site will also highlight the latest action taken on a piece of legislation to try to clarify an often confusing process.

Note: The website is HERE.

TN.gov named best state website by Center for Digital Government

News release from the governor’s office:
NASHVILLE ⎯ The State of Tennessee’s official website, TN.gov, has been named the best state website in the country in the annual “Best of the Web” competition sponsored by the Center for Digital Government.

“With more Tennesseans going online to do business with the state, we understand that there is growing demand for mobile access to state services,” Gov. Bill Haslam said. “As we continue to look for ways to make state government more customer-focused, efficient and effective, we are grateful for this recognition that supports those efforts online.”

Recently redesigned, TN.gov was optimized for a range of screen sizes – from monitors to tablets to phones – to provide easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling. Support for retina displays, swipe gestures on rotators and collapsing menus are just a few of the ways the site has been enhanced to improve the user experience and better interact with visitors.

Since 2011, the State of Tennessee has been increasingly recognized as a leader in using technology to better serve Tennesseans and streamline operations. In addition to the state’s 2013 Best of the Web win, the Tennessee Department of Transportation was awarded a Digital Government Achievement Award for its innovative SmartWay Mobile application available on iOS and Android devices.

Less than a year ago, the state was awarded an “A-” in the biennial Digital States Survey and recognized with another Digital Government Achievement Award for the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security’s iPad kiosk app for driver license renewals.

The TN.gov redesign was completed through a unique partnership with Nashville-based NICUSA Tennessee, part of the eGovernment firm NIC’s family of companies.

Gov Signs Newspaper Notices Bill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill to require public notices to be published on newspaper websites.
The measure maintains a requirement for public notices to be published in the print editions of newspapers. It would also create a statewide online clearinghouse for all notices.
Sponsors say the Tennessee Press Association called for the changes in the interest of enhanced transparency.
“The public notice law is a positive step forward for government transparency,” said Kent Flanagan, director of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government. “It actually ensures that public notices will be posted on third party independent websites.”
The measure was sponsored by Republican Sen. Ken Yager of Harriman and Rep. Ryan Haynes, R-Knoxville.
The House approved the legislation 94-1, and it passed the Senate 31-1.

Newspaper Legal Notices Bill Goes to Governor

The House gave final approval Monday night to a bill requiring newspapers that publish public notices to post them on their website as well at no extra charge.
The bill cleared the House on a 94-1 vote and now goes to the governor for his expected signature.
In brief debate, Rep. G.A. Hardaway, D-Memphis, told sponsor Rep. Ryan Haynes, R-Knoxville, that it seemed inappropriate to “be telling the newspaper what they can and can’t charge for.”
Haynes said the bill is supported by the Tennessee Press Association.
“They are committed to open government and this is one more service they can provide to make government more open and more transparent,” Haynes said. “To give more people the opportunity to see public notices, they’re willing to take that cost on.”

Hotel Booking Websites Win Legal Fight WithTN Cities, Counties

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Hotel booking websites including Priceline, Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz have prevailed against more than a hundred Tennessee counties and municipalities in a legal fight over hotel tax collections.
A federal judge granted a summary judgment in favor of the online travel companies last week and said the state’s hotel tax should be levied based on what hotels charge, not on the rate consumers pay if they book a room through one of the travel sites.
The Tennessean reports that the 129 cities and counties they were owed millions in unpaid hotel taxes because the travel companies were charging consumers discounted room rates plus a markup for the online travel sites’ services (http://tnne.ws/w0c56b).
The online travel companies successfully argued the additional markup should be excluded from the tax calculation

In 3rd District, Tweedledee vs. Tweedledum??

In a Sunday article, the Chattanooga Times-Free Press observes that Republican congressional candidates are following the same script in campaign rhetoric.
That’s especially true in Tennessee’s 3rd Congressional District, where U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann and his famously surnamed challenger, Weston Wamp, are discussing jobs, taxes and regulations in language that is nearly identical.
According to their campaign websites, both Republicans oppose regulations on small businesses and support a “complete overhaul” of the nation’s tax code. Neither man offers specifics.
As for jobs, allow the candidates to explain.
Fleischmann: “We do not need more government intervention.” Wamp: “Government is too big and cannot create jobs.”
With so much agreement, why challenge the incumbent?
“The information on my website is intended to give voters a basic understanding of where I fall on the political spectrum,” Wamp said Friday. “We’re both conservatives, we’re both Republicans, but the way we’ll go about finding solutions, in some ways, couldn’t be more different.”
Wamp said he would “be more prescriptive” about his differences as the campaign progresses, citing his support of a flat tax and bipartisanship as examples. Through a spokesman, Fleischmann declined comment, a strategy he has embraced since the 24-year-old Wamp entered the race.