Montana Legislature? There’s an app for that.
The app was developed by the Montana Electric Cooperatives Association, Montana Telecommunications Cooperatives and Montana Independent Telecommunications Systems. Ryan Hall, MECA’s communications director, said the goal is to make contacting legislators as easy as possible.
Hall said MECA looked to its counterpart in Tennessee, which had developed a similar app for its state, when it made the decision to make one available in Montana. In fact, MECA borrowed much of the code and structure of that version, which saved a lot of time.
MECA has put out print guides to the Montana Legislature for more than 25 years. Hall said the advantage of the app is the ease of use.
“Before, you would flip through and find a committee. Then find the person. Then flip through and find that legislator’s page. Then find contact info, write it down and send an email or call them,” he said.
The app will have each elected official’s contact information, staff and committee memberships, as well as the ability to send an email or call the politician with one touch.
It will also feature links to legislators’ Facebook and Twitter accounts, if the politician provides the information. Hall said it will be updated throughout the legislative session to account for changes in contact information, committee memberships or any other shifts that outdate the app.
The availability of the app does not mean that the print guides will be going away.
“Absolutely not. We printed the same number that we did last year,” Hall said. The guide is free, and will be available at the Montana Capitol or by contacting MECA, which will mail them for the cost of postage.
The app will cost $1.99 and can be found starting Jan. 1 by searching for “Montana Legislature” in the App Store on iPhone and iPad or the Google Play store on Android devices.
Dillon Kato is a journalism student at the University of Montana and an intern at the Missoulian. He can be reached at 523-5251 or at email@example.com.