This week, the OLA Legislative Committee voted to draft a letter of support to Rep. Jeff Barker, the Chair of the House Committee on Judiciary, regarding HB 2944, an Act Relating to Electronic Legal Material. This legislation will enact the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) and provide Oregon with a technology-neutral, outcomes-based approach to ensuring that online state legal material deemed official will be preserved and made permanently available to the public in unaltered form.
From the letter:
More and more states are eliminating their print legal resources in favor of online-only, without assuring trustworthiness and reliability. This bill will ensure that online legal material has the same level of authority traditionally provided by print publication. HB 2944 covers a range of key materials including the Oregon Constitution, Session laws, the Oregon Revised Statues, and Oregon Administrative Rules.
The Uniform Law Commission (ULC), the American Association of Law Libraries, and the American Bar Association support UELMA. Many other stakeholders— including the U.S. Government Printing Office, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Society of American Archivists, the National Center for State Courts, and the Association of Reporters of Judicial Decisions— were observers to the ULC drafting committee.
By adopting UELMA, Oregon will establish itself as a leader among states that have recognized that official, electronic legal material must be authenticated, preserved and made permanently available to the public.