Transparency in the Texas government
From OpenCongress Wiki
Transparency web portals
Lobbying disclosure information
- URL: http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/dfs/search_LOBBY.html
- Description: Texas Ethics Commission website lists searches for lobby registrations, lobby lists and reports, and delinquent filer lists.
Campaign finance disclosure
- URL: http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/dfs/search_CF.htm
- Description: Site allows searches for campaign finance reports, contribution and expenditure totals, contributions maintained totals, political committee lists, delinquent filer lists, candidates with current Treasurer appointments, Governor for a Day & Speaker's Reunion Day reports, and campaign finance reports filed with local filing authorities.
Texas Ethics Commission fines database
- URL: http://www.texastribune.org/library/data/state-ethics-fines/
- Description: From the Texas Tribune, a 3rd party database built from Texas Ethics Committee fines (currently from 2004-2010). Free.
State data and services
TexasOnline: Official Portal of Texas
- URL: http://www.texasonline.com/portal/tol
- Description: Can search for basic public records online, such as drivers licenses, and marriage & divorce certificates. Site also features bloglines, RSS feeds, and videos & photos of the Governor.
Window on State Government
- URL: http://www.window.state.tx.us/
- Description: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts reports on budget, the state's usage of taxpayer dollars, and shows information on specific Texas state taxes. Also includes a section called TxSmartBuy which allows state and local government employees to search and order the items they need and get the best price from contractors.
Texas Transparency Check-Up
- Description: Allows users to search and compare local governments in Texas in terms of transparency. Includes a chart comparing states in terms of transparency.
Texas Enterprise Resource Planning
- URL: http://www.texaserp.org/
- Description: This is the Web site for the state initiative aimed at integrating state data for maximum efficiency. Offers updates on the effort to create a single set of books for state data.
Texas Legislature Online
- URL: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/
- Description: Provides information on bills, committees, members, statutes, and various other pertinent items to the Texas legislature and its functioning.
- URL: http://www.texastribune.org/session/82R/bills
- Description: The Tribune provides interactive treemaps that show bills filed in the 82nd Legislative Session by subject and legislator, distinguishing between the House and Senate. Clicking on a box (either subject or legislator) provides a list of legislation that can be further filtered. Each bill then links to a page that provides information on actions taking on the bill and quick links to the history and text on the Texas Legislature Online website.
- URL: http://tx.billhop.com
- Description: Bill Hop allows users to search for bills filed in the 82nd Legislative Session and displays all versions of the text. Users can register and create a username to leave comments, track pages, and rank pages. The home page displays bills that have been ranked favorable, unfavorable, conservative, or liberal by other users.
- URL: http://tx.opengovernment.org
- Description: Open Government displays all bills filed in the 82nd Session and can be filtered by chamber, recent actions, date introduced, most viewed and most in the news. It is also possible to search for a bill by key word. Each bill page shows its status, sponsors, recent actions and links to the official text. It also provides links to social media mentions and related news and blog coverage. Users can make comments and quickly share the page using social media links and a quick link to email your representative (input zip code).
- URL: http://backmic.com
- Description: Named for the microphone at the back of the chamber where legislators can start debate on legislation, BackMic offers citizens a chance to weigh in on pending bills. BackMic allows users to vote yes or no on bills, comment on them, and share their activity on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
More legislative information
For more on transparency legislation, see the Texas transparency legislation webpage at Sunshine Review.