We need an

app for that Editor:

Have you noticed that many of the news articles about what’s happening in the Iowa Legislature start off with “Just passed in the Iowa House (or Senate)?” This gets a little frustrating because, in some cases, I didn’t even know they were considering the legislation. What happened to the Committee hearings for public input that were supposed to take place?

Few news sources provide in-depth coverage of the winding road a bill must travel from introduction to governor’s signing. Have you ever tried following a bill at the Iowa Legislature website? What a nightmare! The Des Moines Register does a fair job of reporting. However, these articles are for subscribers only, and many people don’t bother to purchase a subscription. One online news source I found helpful is the Iowa Capital Dispatch. Their reporting is in-depth and balanced, but still not what this political junkie is looking for.

So, let me make a suggestion. Surely, someone in this day and age can design an app for my phone that would provide me with alerts when something is happening with a particular bill or issue that I have selected to follow. This app will keep me informed every step of the way as a potential law works its way through the House and Senate. This app will tell me how my representative voted on the floor and in committee and will give me the opportunity to weigh in and express my opinion along the way.

Today’s technology is providing greater opportunity for citizens to become more informed and involved in the democratic process from their homes or wherever the day may take them. The easier and more available the access is to the Iowa Legislature’s day to day discussions and decisions, the more knowledgeable and involved we can be in the important issues that affect our lives.

We need an app for that!

Tony Amsler


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