New York Senate’s Big Google Adventure


The New York Senate’s strides toward greater transparency hasn’t stalled since we last visited them.  A huge step forward was just announced with the latest portal, Open Legislation.   This site is a legislation search engine modeled after the simplicity and function of Google.

I love that you can search legislation by sponsor, committee, by recent actions and/or votes.  This is a great way for citizens to navigate a system as complex as the New York Senate.  It makes me believe that the creators thought a great deal about user experience and how people search – and for a government site that is a huge accomplishment.  What is really exceptional is that they didn’t stop with search but also allow commenting on legislation and is available in formats like XML and JSON.  And to put an extra smile on your face the whole site is under a Creative Commons license.

I really encourage people to go digging around, find ways to improve the site and let them know.  Given that it’s in beta there is still some room for improvement but what a great start!

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  • Thanks for the post! I am one of the developers of this service with the NY Senate CIO team.

    We had some physical network issues this morning up in Albany. Thanks for bearing with us!

    Additional note, our website is actually using the API to integrate display of legislation within Drupal. You can see an example of this here:

  • It’s back up now!

  • This indeed is great, but it looks like the site is down today. Perhaps traffic from the Sunlight blog brought it down?