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Contributed by Joel Zimba, Special Projects Coordinator, MDTAP

There is a great new Website–http://baltimorecode.org/.  It’s all of the city’s codes and statutes laid out and available for anyone.  It’s true that all of this information had been available previously.  But often it required sifting through monolithic PDF files.

Baltimorecode.org and it’s companion site marylandcode.org are powered by an application called The State Decoded.  Basically, the intent is to bring together the actual state and local codes with all kinds of other related legal information.  Court briefings,  opinion pieces, extensive law dictionaries and other publications.  The entire thing is available to anyone and can even be downloaded.  Sites using the State Decoded also seem to be highly accessible.  This is great, as the aforementioned PDF files, while somewhat useable were not particularly user-friendly.

Best of all, the entire repository is searchable.  This was previously quite difficult to achieve with the state codes provided on Maryland Websites.  That’s right,  you are free to search and analyze to your heart’s content.  So now, perhaps, you can try to prove that J. K. Rowling also wrote the Maryland Constitution.

Baltimorecode.org says it is still in “beta” phase but is ready for use by the public at large.  There will probably be changes and bug fixes.  This is a great service, and I imagine we’ll see every state following soon.

And perhaps The State Decoded will also help out the General Assembly for this Spring’s Legislative Session.  This would finally allow all Marylanders equal access to the legislative process.



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