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Monday, February 10, 2020

Nellie Gorbea rolls out new on-line lobbying tracking tool

Secretary of State introduces new lobbying and legislation data exploration tool
By  UpriseRI

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea announced a “new era of accountability and transparency in Rhode Island government” with the launch of the Lobbying and Legislation Data Exploration Tool.

The Data Exploration Tool is an interactive resource available to the public on the Secretary of State’s website. It allows users to quickly and easily sort years of lobbying and legislative information using dozens of search functions.

“It has been my mission to transform the Secretary of State’s office into a modern gateway connecting Rhode Islanders to their government,” said Secretary Gorbea. 

“We’ve taken public data on lobbying and legislation and turned it into a resource that empowers Rhode Islanders to hold their elected officials accountable.”

Data Exploration Tool users can explore broad trends, such as the number of registered lobbyists in a given year, or the number of bills introduced in the General Assembly on a given subject. 

With just a few clicks, users can also narrow their focus to explore the activity of an individual lobbyist or the progress of an individual bill.

“The legislative process can be confusing,” said John Marion, Executive Director of Common Cause Rhode Island

“Thankfully the Secretary of State has built helpful tools like this that allow the public to consume vital information about how bills become laws, and who is trying to influence them along the way.”

All lobbying and legislative information contained in the Data Exploration Tool is public, but until now was not easily sorted. 

For more details on lobbying in Rhode Island or to view lobbying reports, visit the Secretary of State’s Lobby Tracker

To read the text of a specific bill, visit the Rhode Island General Assembly’s Legislative Information page.