Transparency Bill Tracking

2020 bill tracking graphic

For 2020, NFOIC is publishing for the first time, state transparency legislation in real time.  More than three-fourths of NFOIC’s state coalition members say that tracking their legislative sessions for bills that impact their state’s open government laws is a critical need — and a challenging task. Since most state legislatures do not prominently identify introduced transparency-related bills, many coalitions must rely on labor-intensive methods to single out and track them. As a result, NFOIC sought a technology solution to automate and better identify and track these bills.

Earlier this year, the National Freedom of Information Coalition announced the publication of its latest research, “Legislating Open Government: The Prevalence of Transparency-Related Language in 2019 State Legislative Bills.” The report was a culmination of a months-long pilot project analyzing all bills introduced in 2019 sessions across the U.S. in conjunction with Quorum, a Washington D.C.-based software company.

Transparency issues arise in all kinds of bills — everything from how public data is collected, organized, managed and disseminated by government, to the balance between personal privacy and the public’s right to know, and how government interacts with the private sector. 

For 2020, NFOIC worked with many of its state coalitions to customize transparency search terms used for each state. Not every bill listed will be directly relevant to that state’s open government laws and policies, however, this bill tracker will assist in the heavy lifting for identifying transparency-related bills in every state. 

Select your jurisdiction to see a real time dashboard of transparency-related bills in your legislature. In each dashboard, you can sort by columns selected and download the dataset as a whole. (Please note: Some legislatures have not yet filed bills this year or they do not meet in 2020.)