Useful Information About WI Statutes & Admin. Code on the Web

On Wednesday evening, WI Deputy Revisor of Statutes, Bruce Hoesly gave an interesting presentation to the Law Librarians Association of Wisconsin on the new RSB web site.
Besides guiding us through the ins and outs of the new NXT interface for the Statutes and Administrative Code, he shared some other interesting information.
Did you know?:

  • WI Statutes on the web are updated quarterly or more and are more current than the print or other electronic versions. Note the “updated through” note at the top of the web page.
  • The WI Administrative Code and Register on the web are updated monthly and are always concurrent with the print versions.
  • After March 2001, history links in the Admin. Code take you to the filing instructions for the date of the change. The filing instructions then take you to the Register pages which were removed. [Note: Researching Admin. Code history is not for the faint of heart!]
  • In the “Go to” citation search box on the left for both the Statutes and Admin Code, spacing and punctuation matters. It’s easy to see how a search for WI Stat “13.93 (2m) (b) 2” could be tricky. Try using the “less is more” approach and just search for “13.93” and then browse your way to the specific subsection.
  • The web version of the Statutes is labeled as “unofficial” – what does this really mean? Bruce explained that the print Statutes are “certified” by the RSB through a rigorous examination process before they are sent to the printer. This certification process is simply not feasable in an electronic environment. However, he did say that both the print and electronic version are created from the same source. So although they aren’t officially “official”, users shouldn’t be scared off by the term “unofficial.”

Planned Improvements:

  • RSB is working on scanning previous versions of the WI Administrative Code back to 1956. They hope to have code from the 1990s available soon.
  • RSB is investigating having live links to the CFR and US Code when they are cited in the Statutes and Admin Code.

If Bruce or anyone else who attended the meeting has anything else to share (or correct), please share your comments.