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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

New website makes Florida statutes accessible, understandable

A more user-friendly way to read and understand Florida's complicated law books just launched online.

SunshineStatutes.com has features that the state's official website, Online Sunshine at leg.state.fl.us, does not. For example, there is an easy-to-understand description of each law's history and hyperlinked text that shows the definitions of terms in other parts of the law.

Florida's Statutes cover 951 chapters separated into 48 "titles."

Eventually, the Sunshine Statutes website will allow people to trace laws back to bills and court cases that reference them. One day, it could even be possible to link a law back to the lobbyist who supported the issue.

"The idea is to make the statutes more accessible to the citizens and to make it more meaningful and understandable," said Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation. Her organization worked with the Florida Society of News Editors to assist in the site's development.

Florida is the second state to have its law books simplified by Waldo Jaquith, who first worked on Virginia's.

Read more here.

[Last modified: Friday, July 6, 2012 7:28pm]

    

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