Useful websites for state government transparency
From OpenCongress Wiki
Follow The Money
- The National Institute on Money in State Politics operates a searchable database of all campaign contributions to political campaigns at the state level. The database allows users to search for contributions to candidates for office at all levels of state government and for contributions spent on supporting and opposing ballot initiatives across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Institute has made available several APIs so programmers can access and display the Institute’s data in their own applications.
Project Vote Smart
- Project Vote Smart provides detailed information – biographical information, campaign finances, interest groups ratings, issue positions, and public statements – on elected officials including the President, members of Congress, state officials and leadership in state legislatures.
Show me the Spending
- After the federal government created a spending database for citizens to see what their tax dollars were being spent on, a group of organizations dedicated to bringing government spending into light decided to spread the transparency. Show me the Spending is a coalition of organizations who are working to create state sponsored Web sites where users can easily search for state spending information, including data on grants and contracts.
Library of Congress
- The Library of Congress has a resource of state laws that can be accessed from their website. Click on a state and it links to the state’s constitution, legislative websites, executive branch laws, and judicial rulings, as well as legal guides and other state sources.
- Justia.com provides Internet users with free case law, codes, regulations, legal articles and legal blog databases, as well as community resources. You can search by state and get more resources like legal blogs and state Web sites.
- State Sunshine and Open Records is a blog about freedom of information, open records and access to public documents. It is associated with WikiFoia. They also have links to state based freedom of information groups. Their wiki is set up for the purpose of building a comprehensive “How To” guide for state and local level information requests.
NCSL – Blog
- The Thicket is a blog about federalism and state legislative institutions written by and for legislative junkies. Contributors are among the nation's foremost statehouse observers at the National Conference of State Legislatures. It is also a great resource for state blogs, legislator blogs, and updates on what is happening in state legislatures all over the country.
- Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT) provides a forum for the discussion of problems and concerns and for the exchange of ideas among librarians working with government documents. GODORT works to initiate and support programs to increase the availability, use, and bibliographic control of documents. GODORT strives to increase communication between documents librarians and other librarians and contributes to the extension and improvement of education and training of documents librarians.
American Library Association – State and Local Documents Task Force
- The purpose of the Federal Documents Task Force (FDTF) is to further the mission of the Government Documents Round Table relating to U.S. government information, to provide a forum for discussion of problems and concerns, and to establish and maintain open links of communication between documents librarians and others involved in the life cycle of government information. They seek to initiate, design, and support programs that will increase the availability and use of Federal publications and government information; improve the bibliographic control of Federal publications and technical reports in all formats; improve the management of documents collections; improve the education and training of documents librarians; and increase communication between documents librarians and other librarians.
State Agency Highlights
- State Agency Highlights is an unofficial highlights blog of the State Agency Databases Across the 50 States project being done by the State and Local Documents Task Force of the American Library Association Government Documents Roundtable. This blog highlights interesting state databases that get valuable information out to citizens of that state.
- The mission of the Sunshine Review is to allow regular people to collect and share information about government transparency, openness and accountability at the state and local level. This project is designed to promote awareness about the extent to which local government websites provide useful and needed information. How much can you tell about your city, county, or school district from its website? How do your local government websites stack up to others from around the country? They also provide a useful ten point checklist for what local government websites should provide.