Williams: Open law and open legislative data resources

Rebecca Williams, J.D., of the Sunlight Foundation has posted two new resources on open law and open legislative data:

1. A list of resources on open law and open legislative data

  • The list covers Open Law Tools (Code), Open Lawmaking Tools (Legislative Data), Supportive Policies, and Supportive Organizations. Most of the resources listed appear to concern the U.S.

2. A post entitled: When will open legislative data come to your town?

Here are excerpts from the post:

Last September, after observing an increased velocity in the number of formal open data policies being created around the country, we posed the question: “When will open data come to your town?” […] [T]racking these laws at the local level is not easy, so now we pose a follow up question: When will open legislative data come to your town? […]

Efforts to open legislative data are happening all over the country at all levels of government: from the the /unitedstates project at the federal level, to the growing popularity of Sunlight’s Open States tool […]

Collecting, structuring and opening local legislative data makes it possible to build tools like Open States and OpenCongress for your hometown, integrate your local legislative information into any app, and compare your local legislation to other jurisdictions. […]

Codified law is getting opened up too, making it easier to access law when and how you need it. The OpenGov Foundation has been working hard to redeploy OpenGov Champion Waldo Jaquith’s State Decoded work across the country as AmericaDecoded, forming inspiring partnerships (see the AmLegal Decoder) and complementary tools like Madison, a platform where community members participate directly with the lawmaking process. Civic hackers in D.C. have worked to create DCCode.org, amongst other projects. […]

Coalitions of folks interested in democracy tools, legal informatics and upgrading the legal practice with technology are being built. […]

Now cities are starting to introduce legal reforms mandating that municipal code and legislative data (ordinances, representatives, votes, meetings) be proactively made available to the public online in structured, machine-readable, open formats — law for open law! In March, after San Francisco made its municipal legal code available on GitHub, Supervisor Mark Farrell introduced a motion that called for San Francisco’s ordinances and all relevant legal information to be made available online in machine-readable formats (as defined by San Francisco’s open data law) within three days of any introduction or amendment to any ordinance or resolution. Last Wednesday, the New York City Council passed a resolution amending their City Council Rules, supported by Councilmember Ben Kallos, that calls for all New York City proposed ordinances and associated legislative information be available through an online database that “will be provided to the general public in a machine-readable format at no cost and without restriction as soon as practicable, in order to facilitate public engagement with the Council through the use of third-party software.” […]

The Sunlight Foundation is pleased to see and contribute to these policy and technological efforts to make essential law and lawmaking information openly available online and reusable for all. […]

For details on particular resources and ways to get involved, please see the complete post.

HT @SunFoundation

This entry was posted in Applications, Data sets, Lists of resources, Others' scholarly or sophisticated blogposts, Policy debates, Policy Materials, Projects, Technology developments, Technology tools and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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