"On March 5, Oregon became the first state in U.S. history to
formally consider legislation relating to government acquisition of
Open Source software. Within two weeks a similar bill was
introduced into the Texas state legislature. Microsoft-funded
lobbyists descended in swarms upon both capitols to destroy the
proposals. Anyone interested in working for Open Source-related
legislation elsewhere would do well to study what happened.
"State laws in the U.S. begin when a legislator introduces a
bill, which is assigned a number and is sent to a committee for
examination. After holding one or more hearings the committee
decides whether to send the bill to the floor of its respective
chamber (i.e., House of Representatives or Senate) for a vote. If
the bill passes the floor vote, it then moves to the other chamber
where it is again assigned to a committee and must undergo the same
process it endured in the first chamber. Only a tiny handful of
bills make it through this process; those that survive it go to the
state governor for final approval (or a veto)..."
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