Yesterday, MAPLight.org and their partner the California First Amendment Coalition achieved a huge victory when the State of California agreed to give the public access to the state government database of how state lawmakers vote. In December, the two groups filed a lawsuit seeking access to legislative votes. In response, the state has set up a database of Senate and Assembly bills and votes that it updates daily.
Dan Newman, MAPLight.org’s executive director, in an email he sent out to supporters said it shouldn’t take a lawsuit for the government to realize its data belongs to the people. “In this new era of transparency, we hope that this settlement serves as an example to city and state governments across the country to provide public access to public information.” Amen Dan!
MAPLight.org is promising to use this new database to update MAPLight.org California. They hope to launch the new California site in September. It will combine data on all money given to members of the California state legislature with the newly available database of how each politician votes, revealing patterns of money and influence never before possible.
Sunlight is support MAPLight.org’s Congressional Web site.