Sunlight Foundation, the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that has been a leader in providing open government resources, including OpenCongress, recently launched its latest free site, Open States. Well-designed and easy to use, Open States provides "searchable legislative data for all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico" in one place. Users can find state legislators and their sponsored legislation, voting records, committee assignments, campaign contribution records, and related news articles. For each legislator, the site also provides easy links to Influence Explorer and similar resources with more detailed campaign donation analysis.
Open States lists the sources of its data at the bottom of each page, and provides a helpful video tutorial. Those wishing to follow a bill, legislator or issue can create a free Open States account and receive email alerts. Four years of work by Sunlight Labs collecting and organizing the legislative data has paid off in an extremely useful tool for students, researchers and interested citizens.
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat
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