House Speaker Will Weatherford unveils a new mobile app for the Florida House
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Now you can keep tabs on what state lawmakers are up to at the state Capitol on your smart phone.
Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford on Thursday announced a new mobile app that will allow you to read bills, contact your local state lawmaker or watch committee meetings on your smart phone or tablet.
The "FL House" mobile app includes about 80 different features designed to help you keep track of the action in the Florida House. The Senate does not have an app.
It will be made available during the first week of the 2013 legislative session, on both iOS and Android platforms.
Weatherford says people today are communicating and learning differently and, he believes, the mobile app will increase Floridians' access to their government.
"I think we have an opportunity to empower people all over our state so they can understand what it is their Legislature is doing. It used to be that you had to watch TV or read the newspaper to know what was happening, but now we are empowering Floridians within the comfort of their own home to go and livestream and see what we're doing in committee, to be able to contact their legislator with over 600 different ways to do so."
The Florida House mobile app lets you look up bills and track them through the legislative process, check out House calendars and contact lawmakers.
Weatherford says the mobile app sets a new national standard for connecting with state government.
"I think what the Florida House is doing here today is creating an opportunity for us to set a national standard for a new way to communicate with government. This is the way that people are communicating. It's the way that people want to learn. It's the way they access information and the development of this app is bringing government in the state of Florida into the 21st Century."
An Orlando-based mobile app development company called Echo created the app at a cost of about $130,000.
By Dave Heller