Actionable Reporting – An Example

Republican Lawmakers in Five States Propose Bills to Criminalize Peaceful Protests by Spencer Woodman.

I don’t mind prosy reporting but I should not be forced to recover information that was (or should have been known) to the reporter.

Quick summary of Woodman’s post: Iowa, imagined future law; Michigan, proposal that died last year; Minnesota, two pending bills; North Dakota, one pending bill, Washington, one pending bill. So, three states and not five.

The scattered links aren’t ones to help the reader track the current status of legislation, if it exists. Nor are the authors of these offenses against the common good identified.

Actionable reporting appends links to prose that enable readers to go beyond the text. In this case, links to legislatures, current bill status and authors of the legislation.

Here’s an actionable appendix for Woodmen’s post:

Iowa Legislature

Imagined future bill, “suck it up, buttercup bill,” to be proposed by Representative Bobby Kaufman.

Michigan Legislature

HOUSE BILL No. 4643 – An act to create a commission relative to labor disputes, and to prescribe its powers and duties; to provide for the mediation and arbitration of labor disputes, and the holding of elections thereon; to regulate the conduct of parties to labor disputes and to require the parties to follow certain procedures; to regulate and limit the right to strike and picket; to protect the rights and privileges of employees, including the right to organize and engage in lawful concerted activities; to protect the rights and privileges of employers; to make certain acts unlawful; to make appropriations; and to prescribe means of enforcement and penalties for violations of this act,” by amending section 9f (MCL 423.9f).

Referred to Senate Committee on Commerce – 12/8/2016 (died)


Gary Glenn – (primary), Amanda Price, Michael McCready, Joseph Graves.

Unlike the Michigan legislature page, I substituted links to member webpages instead of bills they have sponsored. Interesting data on sponsorship but not helpful for contacting them. BTW, the link for Amanda Price is to her Wikipedia page. Doesn’t have a member page at the legislature.

Minnesota Legislature

Two bills:

  1. A bill for an act relating to public safety; increasing penalties for obstructing a highway; amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 160.2715; 609.74.

    Lohmer; Fenton; Zerwas; Rarick; Miller; Runbeck; Albright; Green; Daudt; Lueck; Uglem; Dettmer; Daniels

  2. A bill for an act relating to public safety; creating the Minnesota Public Safety Personnel Protection Act; increasing penalties for obstructing emergency responders; amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 609.50.


    Garofalo; Newberger; Lohmer; Uglem.

North Dakota Legislature

HOUSE BILL NO. 1203 A BILL for an Act to create and enact section 32-03.2-02.2 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to the liability exemption of a motor vehicle driver; and to amend and reenact section 39-10-33 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to pedestrians on roadways. PDF text as introduced.

Authors: Representatives Kempenich, Brandenburg, Laning, Oliver, Rohr; Senators Cook, Schaible.

Washington Legislature

SB 5009 – 2017-18 Concerning offenses involving economic disruption.

Authors: Ericksen, Sheldon

Known as Preventing Economic Disruption Act (PEDA) in the 2017 legislative session.

Actionable reporting lowers the bar for readers to act on what they have read.

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