California Joins Colorado in Enacting New Law to Address Permanent, Public Access to Official, Authentic Legal Materials
Joining Colorado, the state of California has just passed a new law that addresses permanent, public access to official legal materials. Specifically, this new law, called the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA), was passed as Senate Bill 1075 and provides for the "official designation, authentication, and preservation of certain legal material in electronic records by an official publisher." The phrase "legal material" is defined as the California Constitution, California statutes, and California Codes. Librarians consider these materials as "primary" legal resources. When these legal materials are preserved in electronic format, their integrity must be ensured, backup and disaster recovery is required, and their continuing usability must be guaranteed. The new law gives publishers a lot of time to implement it because it does not become effective until July 1, 2015.