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Government United States

New Hampshire Begins Open-Data Efforts 164

Posted by Soulskill
from the creating-a-meatspace-api dept.
Plugh writes "The Free State Project was created to move 20,000 small-government activists to New Hampshire (here's the Slashdot story from 2002). IT people, with our ability to work anywhere, were some of the first to move. Now, with over a dozen Free Staters elected to the NH legislature, these geeks are starting to affect government data-sharing policy."
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New Hampshire Begins Open-Data Efforts

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  • Free Staters? (Score:5, Informative)

    by no known priors (1948918) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @01:26AM (#35134474)

    I remember a quote about them, something like "they confuse freedom for corporations with freedom for people". Corporations aren't people, and so the tax rate for corporations (one of the reasons to pick New Hampshire I think) should be either irrelevant, or, a place with high taxes for corporations should be better (if it translates to lower taxes for real people).

    Ahem, back on topic:
    I think it is wonderful that at least one government is providing information in open formats (ahem, 'nerd-friendly, "pipe-separated" files'). I can't see the connection though between the "New Hampshire Liberty Alliance" (the group that seems to promoted the change according to the article), and the Free Staters.

    Indeed, The Free State website [freestateproject.org] says:

    We are not a political action organization. We are not tied to any political party or organization; we do not run candidates for election, we do not financially support or endorse candidates, and we do not oppose or endorse legislation. All these things will be done by local activist organizations with which many Free Staters are involved.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @08:13AM (#35136184) Homepage

    As someone born and raised in NH, this probably has very little to do with the Free State Project. There a bunch of other reasons NH would implement this kind of thing:
      * The Republican base in NH are generally very libertarian-leaning. That's a major reason why the Free Staters picked NH as the place to go in the first place.
      * The NH Democrats agree with the Republicans on personal liberty issues and ensuring that the citizens control the government rather than the other way around.
      * The state takes great pride in its citizen legislature, and there's very few professional politicians. To give you an idea, the Speaker of the NH house spends a lot of her time running a day care center, and another state rep works as an elevator operator. Each rep only represents about 3000 constituents. That means they really need to listen to even small groups of citizens.
      * The longtime secretary of the state of NH, Bill Gardner, is probably one of the most non-partisan public officials in the country. He has a well-deserved reputation for fairness and competence, and as a result has been kept in office despite several changes in both the legislative majority and the governor's party affiliation. He knows a good idea when he sees one, and has a lot of trust from both Republicans and Democrats, so if he supports a good common-sense proposal it's likely to get implemented.

    The state has its flaws, but its state government is very responsive to good ideas.

  • by Plugh (27537) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @08:37AM (#35136292) Homepage
    As someone who was at the meeting that created this "open government data initiative", I can tell you that it was 1 Free-Stater State Rep and one NH native State Rep that made this happen.
  • by Seth Cohn (24111) on Tuesday February 08, 2011 @10:37AM (#35137492)

    Glad to see Slashdot pick this up...

    The actual bills:

    Open Data: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2011/HB0310.html [state.nh.us]
    Open Source: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2011/HB0418.html [state.nh.us]

    I'd love to see this legislation copied in every state... patches are welcomed, btw. I can't grant commit access, but bug reports are always welcomed.

    I'd also be glad to answer questions, if anyone has any.

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