New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new "democracy agenda to protect election integrity, including a first-in-the-nation state law to require disclosures and disclaimers for online political ads. The legislative proposal, which is modeled upon the Honest Ads Act that Sunlight helped draft in Congress, would similarly expand the state's definition of political communication (electioneering) to include paid digital and Internet advertising, require platforms to maintain a public file of paid political ads, and make reasonable efforts to prevent foreign actors from buying ads.Continue reading
State and local government watchdogs around the United States face major challenges keeping up proposed changes to public records laws in state legislatures.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