To get copies of bills introduced in state Legislatures and the U.S. Congress, reporters used to have to go in person to state capitols or to Washington, D.C.

But now states and the U.S. Congress have put legislative databases on the Web so you can find the bills that are pending or were passed by lawmakers.

On a local level, many cities are putting online the agendas of council meetings, minutes of previous council meetings and, in some cases, agenda packets that include reports on the resolutions and measures being considered by a council.

Filed under: Public Records