Dolan launches 50-state legislative reporting service

As state houses across the country adjust to a new post-election landscape, Minneapolis-based Dolan Company (NYSE:DM) is launching a joint venture to help lobbyists, corporate government affairs representatives, national associations and government agencies keep up with the action.

After a 14-month trial, Dolan Tuesday launched Legislative Information Service of America (LISA), a 50:50 joint venture and strategic partnership with Austin, Texas-based Telran, Inc. to provide a 50-state, real-time Web-based legislative reporting and data service.

While a new flock of legislators and governors always makes for a busy statehouse, next year’s legislative calendar promises to be particularly busy. Congressional reapportionment following the census and state efforts to both implement and block health-care reform legislation are just two of the issues that promise to dominate state house agendas early in 2011, so Dolan’s Election Day announcement seems particularly well timed. 

Reached at the company’s Minneapolis headquarters, CEO Jim Dolan described LISA as a natural extension of the company’s strategy “to sell high-value information, insight, intelligence and actionable information,” adding that “some parts of the strategy are not yet visible. There is more going on than you see…We’re scaling up nationally…building on our strength and experience in local silos.”

Pointing to the company’s Politics in Minnesota news site, legislative information services in Arizona and Oklahoma and its recent acquisition of Washington, D.C.-based Federal News Service, the LISA joint venture extends the company’s reach into the $1 billion local, state and federal legislative information market, Dolan said.

Dolan has been transforming the $260 million company from a collection of specialized business publications into an information and services provider for the legal, finance and real estate industries, recently dropping the word “Media” from its name to highlight the move.

LISA will provide reporting on floor and committee actions, bill filings and other legislative activity with real-time tracking, alerts, full-text searches, daily calendars and analytical tools aimed at bills as they are filed and debated in statehouses across the United States, according to the company.

Dolan’s partner, Telran, is owned by Andrew Fish, who also operates New York StateWatch and Mississippi StateWatch and supports legislative information systems in six other states. Fish also is the managing partner of Texas Legislative Service, which has been providing legislative information since 1924, according to a press release issued by the companies.

Fish has owned and operated single-state legislative services in multiple states for more than 34 years. He was a founding member and president of the National Online Legislative Associates, which represents single-state legislative services.

The LISA service will be rolled out during November, in time for bill pre-filing activities leading to 2011 legislative sessions in numerous statehouses, the company said.

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