The New York State Senate has been doing a lot to increase engagement with its citizens. The Director of Technology Innovation Noel Hidaldo recently gave a presentation (below) at the IgniteNYC event. Some of the stuff is procedural such as assigning their content a Creative Commons license. Other he touches on are much more substantive such as holding a digital town hall. Connecticut should start thinking about adopting some of these ideas.
For example, one idea they might adopt is allowing citizens to comment on the legislation using a web form. It’s a really basic thing but currently the state website does not allow you to do this. A quick and easy way to submit written testimony that goes along with public hearings might encourage more people to submit their testimony and ideas.
Having worked with some state agencies when doing some academic research I know they are willing and able to share data. The Yankee Institute recently put up a large amount of data from the comptrollers office. I do not believe they are unwilling to change, they just need some help from the next generation of nutmeggers.