By my recollection State Net is one of the oldest surviving legal research and legislative tracking systems. State Net collected and coded and normalized data about the activities of 50 state legislatures back in the dial up days of modems with acoustic couplers. They thrived long enough to be acquired by Lexis Nexis in 2010.
Over the years the system expanded to cover regulations from all 50 states. The latest challenge is addressing the growth in important local legislation. State Net now tracks laws introduced in over 300 major cities and counties around the country.
Daniel Lewis, founder of Ravel Law which was acquired by Lexis Nexis in 2017 is now responsible for the State Net system in his role as vice president of product LexisNexis Legal & Professional. Lewis provided me with an overview of the new State Net features and put the challenge of state motioning in perspective. According to Lewis each year 135,000 bills are introduced across the 50 states compared to about 10,000 federal bills. Fifteen times more state bills are enacted by state legislatures than by Congress. Lewis summed up the challenge in the press release: “The vast majority of legislation and regulation takes place at the state, county and city level, which requires understanding and monitoring thousands of jurisdictions.This year State Net celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, and we’ve poured those years of experience into advanced new software that provides deeper insights, faster results, more content, and cutting-edge analytics.”
Since companies and industries are conducting business across multiple states it is critical for lawyers, lobbyists, compliance officers and government affairs professionals to be able to track and compare issues across the nation.
Analytics and Forecasting One of the most exciting areas of legal research innovation is in the areas of analytics and forecasting. State Net leverages machine learning to provide the “Legislative Outlook” which predicts which bills are likely to be enacted using a new “Momentum Analytics” feature can identify the “velocity” of bills! Which bills are moving quickly in which state?
Dynamic Mapping Another powerful feature is the dashboard which displays a dynamic map showing which states had introduced legislation on specific issues and the status of those bills in each state.
Legislative Documents While states do not produce legislative history materials comparable to the federal government Lawyers are often interested in seeing any legislative materials which provide insight into why the law was passed.. State Net has a “Resources” area which includes primary source documents such as legislative analysis, signing statements and fiscal estimates.
The Key New Features Highlighted in the Press Release:
- A faster cloud-based infrastructure that supports advanced analytics and serves more content from more sources.
- Anew search engine that gives instant access to our unmatched collection of legislative and regulatory content, with highly relevant results.
- Unique and proprietary Momentum Analytics, which helps professionals focus their time by identifying bills that are moving rapidly or slowly through the legislative process.
- A one-stop dashboard that enables professionals to track all the legislation that matters to them in one place, easily seeing changes, amendments, and notes.
- Monitoring government activity for hundreds of the largest cities and counties.
Congratulations to the folks at LexisNexis State Net on 50 years in the legal market. Wonderful to see the product enter their next fifty years leveraging machine learning and analytics to bring to insights to the complex 50 state landscape of laws and regulations.