The Preserving Data in Government Act speaks to a matter of of heightened public interest in the spring 2017, as open government data has been removed from the Internet during the Trump administration. We hope Congress passes it.Continue reading
A judge can force a federal agency to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request. But, while the FOIA is pending, the agency can ask Congress to pass a law allowing it to withhold the requested information.Continue reading
Senate Democrats have introduced a package of campaign finance and lobbying reforms, labeled the We The People Act.Continue reading
This morning, we saw positive signs on the long road to baking open data into the way the federal government functions and discloses information to the people it serves.Continue reading
Let’s dig into Mayor Walsh's open data executive order, Councilor Wu's proposed open data legislation, and consider what is possible for the future of open data (and open data policy) in Boston.Continue reading
When we talk about providing a transparent and legible legislative process, the first step is identifying all the moving parts that contribute to the passing of law. In Washington, D.C., this means not just following the city council, but also following D.C.’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, or ANCs, the hyperlocal government entities that advise the city council on community issues. Although the District’s city government structure is uniquely granular, it serves as an excellent model for understanding what a complete legislative data framework should consist of.Continue reading
This map distinguishes five levels of legislative web and broadcasting comprehension on a sliding scale from “Best” (including all recommended elements: video formatting of floor proceedings and committee hearings, archived, and broadcasted via a variety of mediums) to “Worst” (missing several of these recommended elements). For more info (or to watch!) see the NCSL's original roundup here.
Open legislative data is integral to a functioning legible participatory democracy. The legislative data canopy covers everything from information about who represents you to the nuts and bolts of the legislative process to final letter of the law, with each element carrying its own series of challenges and considerations when it comes to public access. Timely and archived legislative process data (i.e. bills, amendments, committee meetings, votes, and contextual information, such as: research reports, legislative journals and lobbying information) are crucial to supporting citizen participation and informed voting. Video documentation of the legislative process represents the barebones of open and accountable legislative process data -- passive recordings of events as they happen for prosperity and public inclusion -- and yet this information is still not comprehensively available in most U.S. states.Continue reading
Today, Senator Jon Tester reintroduced The Public Online Information Act (POIA) a bill that would take already public government information... View ArticleContinue reading
Today, Senator Tester announced that once again he has introduced the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act, (not yet online) a... View ArticleContinue reading
Wonder what the Open States team has been working on since we finished our initial goal of providing information for all 50 states back in March? As promised, we've been focusing on a new OpenStates.org and expanding our API to support full text search and we're finally ready to show you the results.
If you head over to OpenStates.org now you'll see that we've released a beta version of our site, currently available for 20 states. The remaining states are on their way later this year, but we wanted to make sure we took our time and did things right. As you explore the site you'll see all of the information we've been making available via our API. You'll also notice some enhancements made in the last few months like full-text search and enhanced support for legislator photos and contact addresses.Continue reading