Hey all... just found your discussions on HB1197 via Google.  Joined
the list (I've avoided LUG mailing lists in the last few years, after
being in charge of a LUG out west for a few years... taking a break
from LUGging for a while.  My other techno creds include some minor
Linux kernel driver patches, Debian involvement for a bit, patches on
a variety of other code, and most of the usual suspects)

I've read most of the discussion (and thanks to whomever wikied the
gist of the subcommittee meeting, as I was unable to attend it that
day, and was curious what happened.  I gave testimony at the public
hearing and was well received there.)

It's my understanding that HB1197 is moving forward, which is a good
thing, and far from over in the process...    If anyone is interested
in helping, and learning how our State Legislature works, I'd be glad
for the help, and I guarantee you will learn a lot about the process.

The reason HB1197 exists is that I wanted to see what can be done
here, based on the lessons learned in Oregon (I was involved behind
the scenes in spurring that effort forward, I first connected the bill
author and the legislator who first sponsored the bill) and all
similar efforts since...  I do believe here in NH, we can make this

Small steps... the goal is not to 'require' but to balance the scales:
nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft/IBM, and thus nobody is
willing to consider 'free' software, when they can spend the taxpayer
money and be job secure despite the cost.

A Study committee is the correct first step:  There is plenty of data
to collect, and a report will clearly show and summarize the issues,
and the cost saving potentials as well as the open data aspects.  When
a Study comes back with a postive result and ideas based on the
mountains of data out there, everything from Oregon's testimony to
Texas, to NYC, to Peru, to the various OpenGov/ OpenData/ CostSaving
style stuff mentioned on Slashdot every few weeks, to most recently
Massachusett's OpenDocument decision (and the resulting
lobbying/etc)... it will be easier (but not easy) to get an 'open
source' and/or "open data" bill that will mean something, and
withstand any lobbyists efforts to derail it.

What we don't want: widespread 'NH is passing an open source bill!'
discussion/argument/etc in the media... this is only for a study
committee, and it needs to stay that way, for better long term

Again, anyone interested in helping, feel free to contact me offlist,
and I'll coordinate.  Experience is not necessary, all training will
be provided.  Being able to translate geekspeek into legislativespeak
is helpful but not required... You will learn legisgeek speak quick
enough.  The next 'public' step (assuming this passes the House, which
is has not done yet) will be in the Senate, for another public
hearing.  When/if that happens, sheer body count does matter, as does
good testimony... more when it's a reality.

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