Tracking Legislation on

Update: For an evergreen version of this post and a guide on how to use our new feature see We’re excited to announce that our most-requested feature, bill tracking and alerts, has come to the new! 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: Bill Tracking Alpha You can now create an account on, 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…* 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]

Introducing the new

Just over a year ago, we gave a preview of some work that team member Olivia Cheng was working on. As of today, we’re proud to announce that work has become the new The new state overview page The new site has been something that Miles, Olivia, and myself have worked on in our spare time for the past year. We’re proud that it is now in a state that is ready to be shown off to the world in time for the start of the 2019 sessions. [Read More]

2019 Session Updates

Happy New Year! This is always the busiest time for the project, as nearly every state begins a new legislative session in the January of an odd-numbered year. Most states will be back in session by January 9th, and nearly all of them by January 16th. If you’re unsure when your state starts, there’s a great reference on Ballotpedia. The unfortunate fact is that many states don’t put their data up until the day the session starts, or sometimes later. [Read More]

More Ways to Get State Legislative Data

The Open States API has been putting legislative data in people’s hands since 2010. In that time we’ve served well over a billion API calls for thousands of users, and in doing so learned a lot about what data people use and how they use it. We’ve also learned quite a bit about how to model legislative data as we went from our initial subset of states to the 52 jurisdictions we cover today. [Read More]