Open States API v3 Beta

The original Open States API was released ten years ago this fall, and we consider it the most important part of the project after the scrapers. While we released the GraphQL API several years ago, we found that the ease of use of API v1 meant that quite a few (nearly 40%) of API users stuck with API v1, so it has long been on the wishlist to have a successor that was closer to a 1:1 replacement for the API v1 methods that so many projects and organizations depend upon. [Read More]

August 2020 Update

August 2020 Update While this year’s legislative sessions have been quite unusual, Open States’ work has continued on mostly uninterrupted. June was the busiest month ever for our APIs with lots of attention being paid to state legislatures as people push for policing reform and state-level Covid responses. We’re pushing ahead with our planned roadmap, adding municipal & executive data to Open States for the first time, introducing a new guide to contributing, and planning the future of our API offerings. [Read More]

April 2020 Update

As legislatures adapt to the new reality that is unfolding, our work continues mostly uninterrupted. I hope everyone out there is staying safe and taking care of themselves. I wanted to give an update on where we’re at on our 2020 Roadmap, the status of our subscriptions beta, and our COVID-19 resource. Bill Tracking For Everyone In case you missed the announcement in February, we now have bill tracking & notification features available on OpenStates. [Read More]

Tracking Legislation on OpenStates.org

Update: For an evergreen version of this post and a guide on how to use our new feature see https://openstates.org/about/subscriptions/ We’re excited to announce that our most-requested feature, bill tracking and alerts, has come to the new OpenStates.org! Here’s what’s new: Login & Profile Pages Our new sign up page is live, and lets you sign up for an account with common social media accounts or an email and password. [Read More]

January 2020 Update

It’s been a busy year so far for the Open States team! Of the thirteen items on the 2020 Roadmap, three are already nearly complete, and significant progress has been made on a few others. Here’s what we’ve been up to so far: OpenStates.org Bill Tracking Alpha You can now create an account on OpenStates.org, and if you fill out our short survey we will bring you into the private preview of bill tracking. [Read More]

Introducing Dan Schneiderman

We’re incredibly excited to have Dan joining the team under our NSF Contract. Dan will be working to improve our historical data and data quality tools pipeline, while also making broader contributions to the project as time allows. - James I had originally worked on the Open States project as my first co-op at RIT during the summer of 2010. This was back when the project was named the 50 States Project and was based out of Sunlight Labs. [Read More]

Announcing Our 2020 Roadmap

With full time developers working on the project for the first time in years, 2020 is going to be an ambitious year. Please note that many of these goals are outside of the core requirements of our grants, so this roadmap is aspirational. We are also only funded through the first half of the year, and seeking funding and partnerships to help make these a reality. If you’re interested in collaborating in any way, please get in touch. [Read More]

National Science Foundation Funding!

I’m excited to announce the most exciting development since we took the project over back in November 2016! The Open States team has received funding as part of an NSF grant and will, for the next ~9 months have full time staff. In a bit more detail, we have received funding as subgrantees on an NSF C-Accel Grant to build a prototype of something the team is calling the Federalism Data and Advanced Statistics Hub. [Read More]

Adding Full Text Search to Open States

For years, the most requested feature on Open States has been the ability to search all legislation by keyword, and to receive updates when new bills matching keywords are updated. We’re excited to announce that today marks the first step in that direction with the alpha release of an enhancement to our search API. If you’re using the GraphQL API simply add the searchQuery term to your bills() query. searchQuery in action [Read More]

Happy 10th Birthday, Open States!

It was 10 years ago today that the first post about what would become Open States was made on the Sunlight Labs blog. Read the post here: Our next big goal, The Fifty State Project *While no single developer has the time to volunteer writing a custom scraper for each state, the goal of having data…*sunlightfoundation.com Of course it was a few months later, at PyCon 2009 in Chicago that we really got things started: Fifty states Project: April 10th Status Report *Six weeks ago we announced on this blog _ the Fifty State Project _, our ambitious project to begin building scrapers…*sunlightfoundation. [Read More]