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How a complex network of bills becomes a law: GovTrack introduces new data analysis of text incorporation

Here’s a fascinating new way to look at US Congressional legislation from our friends at GovTrack.us. As Josh Tauberer explains, GovTrack’s new service “Enacted Via Other Measures,” their new data analysis of text incorporation, will now provide connections between bills — when a bill has at least about 33% of its provisions incorporated into one or more enacted bills — in order to show “how a complex network of bills becomes a law.”

No longer will legislative trackers be limited to the 6 stages in becoming a law described on Congress.gov, or even the 13 steps described by this handy infographic by Mike Wirth and Suzanne Cooper-Guasco (“How Our Laws Are Made”, First place award in the Design for America contest, 2010). Now we’ll be able to see the various pieces of bills that make it into other bills.

This is an amazing new looking glass into the legislative process. Thanks GovTrack.us!

This new analysis literally doubles our insight.

Only about 3% of bills will be enacted through the signature of the President or a veto override. Another 1% are identical to those bills, so-called “companion bills,” which are easily identified (see CRS, below). Our new analysis reveals almost another 3% of bills which had substantial parts incorporated into an enacted bill in 2015–2016. To miss that last 3% is to be practically 100% wrong about how many bills are being enacted by Congress.

And there may be even more than that, which we’ll find out as we tweak our methodology in the future.

There are so many new questions to answer:

  • Who are the sources of these enacted provisions?
  • How often is this cut-and-paste process cross-partisan?
  • What provisions were removed from a bill to be enacted?
  • Is cut-and-paste more frequent today than in the past?

via How a complex network of bills becomes a law: Introducing a new data analysis of text incorporation… – Medium.

Legislative Data and Transparency Conference 2016

The Congressional Committee on House Administration just finished up the 2016 Legislative Data and Transparency Conference. It was 8 hours chock full of good discussions and panelists from government and the open data community discussing bulk data, open source software, etc. Here’s the agenda for the day, helpful collaborative live notes by my pal Daniel Schuman and others and a lively #LDTC16 twitter feed with lots of back channel discussions and links. A few highlights for me were Josh Tauberer‘s “Mr Smith goes to open source Washington” presentation, the “Consuming the law” panel — which included Scott Matheson, the current chair of the Depository Library Council — and the “Future of Publishing Legislative Data and Documents” where GPO’s Lisa LaPlant had some good food for thought about the future of publishing legislative data and documents.

Watch the entire day as it was live-streamed!

The 2016 Legislative Data and Transparency Conference (#LDTC16), hosted by the Committee on House Administration, will take place on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium.

The #LDTC16 brings individuals from Legislative Branch agencies together with data users and transparency advocates to foster a conversation about the use of legislative data – addressing how agencies use technology well and how they can use it better in the future.

via Legislative Data and Transparency Conference 2016 | Committee on House Administration.

2016 Legislative Data and Transparency Conference (#LDTC16), Tue, Jun 21, 2016

Sign up now for this year’s Legislative Data and Transparency Conference (#LDTC16) held in Washington DC. In years past, they’ve streamed the proceedings, so definitely sign up for free if you’re interested in open legislative data, even if you’re not in the DC area!

The 2016 Legislative Data and Transparency Conference (#LDTC16), hosted by the Committee on House Administration, will take place on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium.

The #LDTC16 brings individuals from Legislative Branch agencies together with data users and transparency advocates to foster a conversation about the use of legislative data – addressing how agencies use technology well and how they can use it better in the future.

WHEN
Tuesday, June 21, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (EDT) – Add to Calendar
WHERE
Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium

via 2016 Legislative Data and Transparency Conference Tickets, Tue, Jun 21, 2016 at 9:00 AM | Eventbrite.

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