PUBLIC INFORMATION -- Settling a lawsuit with political watchdog and open records groups,
state officials have agreed to provide a computer database for tracking
thousands of legislative votes, reports Peter Hecht in the Sacramento Bee.

The state also agreed in the Sacramento County Superior Court settlement to pay $65,000 in attorneys fees to the California First Amendment Coalition and MAPLight.org.

The groups charged that the state legislative counsel's office violated California's open records law by refusing to hand over its computer database for all bills introduced in the state Assembly and Senate.

While individual bills can be tracked on-line, the organizations said
they wanted access to the full computer data base to undertake
sophisticated searches tracking campaign contributions and lawmakers' votes on multiple bills.