New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Gillian Reagan

New York Observer State Senate Records Get More Transparent by Gillian Reagan

State Senate Records Get More Transparent

The New York State Senate's chief information officer team just launched an early version of their Open Legislation Portal today.

Mr. Hoppin and his team will update the site by the end of the month with more information that "has never been seen before on the Internet," according to Mr. Hoppin, thanks to the rules reforms passed by the Senate in June. The data collected, which was previously only available by enacting the Freedom of Information Act, will include detailed transcripts of sessions, committee votes and committee attendance.

As the Observer reported in June, Ben Kallos, former chief of staff to Assemblyman Jonathan Bing who was working on Mark Green's campaign, launched NewYork.OpenLegislation.org, which allowed users see how each lawmaker voted on a particular piece of legislation and see whether lawmakers  attended their  committee meetings. Mr. Kallos and a few of his colleagues paid for the site out of his own pocket.

The state's moves to make this kind of data more available to the public are ahead of City Hall, where Gale Brewer, chair of the Council's Technology in Government Committee, is leading the open legislation charge.