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Key Votes

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Vote Smart provides easy access to Congressional and state voting records and maintains a collection of key votes grouped by issue. Vote Smart uses the following criteria to select key votes:

  1. The vote should be helpful in portraying how a member stands on a particular issue
  2. The vote should be clear for any person to understand
  3. The vote has received media attention
  4. The vote was passed or defeated by a very close margin
  5. Occasionally, if a specific bill is consistently inquired about on the Voter's Research Hotline, the vote will be added

Vote Smart provides a summary of the version of the bill text associated with each selected key vote. The summary does not necessarily reflect the content of the final version of the bill. Summaries are written by Vote Smart's staff and interns, who adhere to the project's strict policies and procedures in order to guarantee absolute impartiality and accuracy. Each key vote selection is reviewed by the project's community of advisors, who are political scientists and journalists from all fifty states.


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Date State Bill No. Title Outcome
Dec. 4, 2006 NJ S 2193 Presidential Primaries Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 5)
Sept. 28, 2006 National S Amdt 5104 Military Commissions Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (47 - 52)
Sept. 26, 2006 National N/A Motion to Resolve Into Secret Session Motion Rejected - House (171 - 217)
Sept. 21, 2006 National HR 6095 Immigration Law Enforcement Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (277 - 140)
Sept. 20, 2006 National HR 4844 Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (228 - 196)
Sept. 13, 2006 National S Amdt 4936 National Security Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (41 - 57)
Aug. 16, 2006 CA SCA 3 Redistricting Commission Resolution Passed - Senate (27 - 11)
Aug. 16, 2006 CA SCA 3 Redistricting Commission Resolution Passed - Senate (27 - 11)
July 26, 2006 NC HB 1024 Instant Runoff Voting Concurrence Vote Passed - House (59 - 52)
July 25, 2006 NC HB 1323 Establishment of NC Innocence Inquiry Commission Conference Report Adopted - House (86 - 28)
July 25, 2006 NC HB 1323 Establishment of NC Innocence Inquiry Commission Conference Report Adopted - House (86 - 28)
July 19, 2006 National HR 2389 Pledge Protection Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (260 - 167)
July 19, 2006 NC HB 1024 Instant Runoff Voting Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 18)
July 18, 2006 National H J Res 88 Same-Sex Marriage Resolution Joint Resolution Failed - House (236 - 187)
July 13, 2006 MA H 126 Unsigned Political Posters Veto Override Passed - Senate (30 - 6)
July 13, 2006 National HR 9 Voting Rights Act Reauthorization Bill Passed - House (390 - 33)
July 8, 2006 NJ A 4707 Luxury and Fuel Inefficient Automobiles Bill Passed - House (43 - 36)
July 8, 2006 NJ A 4707 Luxury and Fuel Inefficient Automobiles Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 19)
July 8, 2006 NJ A 4901 Sales Tax Bill of 2006 Bill Passed - House (41 - 38)
July 8, 2006 NJ A 4714 Fur Clothing Tax Bill Passed - House (44 - 32)
July 8, 2006 CO HB 1020 Business Deductions for Employees Restrictions Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 13)
July 8, 2006 NJ A 4714 Fur Clothing Tax Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 19)
July 8, 2006 NJ A 4901 Sales Tax Bill of 2006 Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 18)
July 8, 2006 NJ S 2007 2006-2007 Budget Bill Passed - House (44 - 35)
July 8, 2006 NJ S 2007 2006-2007 Budget Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)
July 1, 2006 PA HB 2499 2006-2007 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (130 - 68)
July 1, 2006 PA HB 2499 2006-2007 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (28 - 21)
June 28, 2006 PA A7999 to HB 1959 English as Official Language Amendment Adopted - House (122 - 70)
June 27, 2006 CA AB 1801 2006-2007 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (54 - 23)
June 27, 2006 CA AB 1801 2006-2007 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (30 - 10)
June 27, 2006 National S J Res 12 Flag Desecration Constitutional Amendment Resolution Failed - Senate (66 - 34)
June 23, 2006 RI H 6885 International Trade Agreements Veto Override Passed - Senate (26 - 4)
June 23, 2006 RI H 6885 International Trade Agreements Veto Override Passed - House (49 - 15)
June 23, 2006 RI H 6885 International Trade Agreements Veto Override Passed - House (49 - 15)
June 23, 2006 RI H 6885 International Trade Agreements Veto Override Passed - Senate (26 - 4)
June 22, 2006 NJ A 3257 Eminent Domain and Redevelopment Programs Bill Passed - House (51 - 18)
June 22, 2006 National HR 4890 Line Item Veto Bill Bill Passed - House (247 - 172)
June 21, 2006 NY S 8446 DNA Database Expansion Bill Passed - Senate (56 - 2)
June 21, 2006 AZ SB 1430 Children, Child Protective Services Bill Failed - House (29 - 27)
June 19, 2006 RI LCO # 2161/3 to H 7120 Sub A Education Funding Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (23 - 47)
June 19, 2006 RI Article 24 to H 7120 Sub A Article 24 Relating to Tuition Tax Credits Motion Agreed - House (62 - 8)
June 19, 2006 RI LCO # 2167/2 Tax Credits for Contributions to Scholarship Programs Amendment Rejected - House (32 - 39)
June 18, 2006 LA HCR 127 Louisiana Health Care Redesign Collaborative Concurrence Vote Passed - House (52 - 32)
June 16, 2006 LA SB 382 Gift Ban on Cultural and Sporting Events for Elected Officials Motion Agreed - House (49 - 43)
June 16, 2006 LA HB 194 Minimum Wage for State Employees Bill Failed - Senate (16 - 18)
June 16, 2006 LA HB 194 Minimum Wage for State Employees Bill Failed - Senate (14 - 19)
June 15, 2006 RI LCO # 2223/6 Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (25 - 36)
June 15, 2006 NC SB 1741 Fiscal Budget of 2006 Bill Passed - House (91 - 23)
June 14, 2006 MD SB 52 Maryland Transportation Authority Veto Override Passed - House (94 - 42)
June 14, 2006 SC H 4810 2006-2007 Budget Veto Override Passed - Senate (37 - 7)
June 14, 2006 SC H 4810 2006-2007 Budget Veto Override Passed - House (99 - 13)
June 14, 2006 SC H 4410 Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements Bill Veto Override Failed - House (73 - 40)
June 14, 2006 SC H 4410 Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements Bill Veto Override Failed - House (73 - 40)
June 14, 2006 MD SB 52 Maryland Transportation Authority Veto Override Passed - Senate (34 - 13)
June 14, 2006 SC H 4410 Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements Bill Veto Override Failed - Senate (8 - 29)
June 14, 2006 SC H 4410 Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements Bill Veto Override Failed - Senate (8 - 29)
June 14, 2006 PA HB 39 Property Taxes (Special Session) Conference Report Adopted - House (137 - 61)
June 14, 2006 LA HB 1379 Procedures for the Granting of a Divorce When There are Minor Children Concurrence Vote Passed - House (67 - 20)
June 13, 2006 RI H 6874 Ballot Questions from Governor Veto Override Passed - Senate (28 - 9)
June 13, 2006 RI H 6874 Ballot Questions from Governor Veto Override Passed - Senate (28 - 9)
June 12, 2006 PA HB 698 Mental Retardation Consideration in Murder Cases Bill Passed - House (169 - 28)
June 8, 2006 AK CCS SB 2001 Oil and Gas Tax (Special Session) Conference Report Rejected - House (13 - 25)
June 8, 2006 AK CCS SB 2001 Oil and Gas Tax (Special Session) Conference Report Adopted - Senate (14 - 6)
June 7, 2006 National S J Res 1 Same Sex Marriage Resolution Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (49 - 48)
June 7, 2006 National HR 5521 Legislative Branch FY 2007 Appropriations Bill Bill Passed - House (361 - 53)
June 6, 2006 RI H 6874 Ballot Questions from Governor Veto Override Passed - House (50 - 23)
June 6, 2006 RI H 6874 Ballot Questions from Governor Veto Override Passed - House (50 - 23)
June 6, 2006 AK HCS CS SB 2001 Oil and Gas Tax (Special Session) Concurrence Vote Failed - Senate (8 - 12)
June 6, 2006 LA HB 194 Minimum Wage for State Employees Bill Passed - House (66 - 35)
June 4, 2006 AK HCS CS SB 2001 Oil and Gas Tax (Special Session) Bill Passed - House (28 - 12)
June 1, 2006 AZ HB 2876 Tax Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 7)
May 31, 2006 WI AB 4 Tax Deduction for Health Savings Account Veto Override Failed - House (61 - 36)
May 31, 2006 SC H 4449 Sales and Property Taxes Conference Report Adopted - Senate (32 - 11)
May 31, 2006 LA HB 1108 Lower Ninth Ward Improvement Authority Bill Passed - House (60 - 39)
May 30, 2006 CA SB 1796 Overhaul Flood and Levee Board Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 12)
May 30, 2006 CA AB 2948 Electoral College: Interstate Compact Bill Passed - House (49 - 31)
May 27, 2006 TN SB 3178 State Legislator’s Pension Plan Conference Report Adopted - House (67 - 12)
May 27, 2006 TN SB 3178 State Legislator’s Pension Plan Conference Report Adopted - Senate (17 - 8)
May 26, 2006 TN HA 1609 to HB 1114 Primary Election Regulations Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (48 - 45)
May 26, 2006 TN HA 1609 to HB 1114 Primary Election Regulations Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (48 - 45)
May 26, 2006 OK SB 1807 Prohibiting Death Sentence For Mentally Retarded Defendant Conference Report Adopted - House (91 - 5)
May 25, 2006 SC Amdt 3 to S 1084 Inclusion of Unborn Child/Fetus in Definition for Civil Suits Amendment Amendment Tabled - House (65 - 31)
May 25, 2006 AZ HB 2577 Immigration Law; Employment; Enforcement Conference Report Adopted - Senate (16 - 9)
May 25, 2006 LA HB 1 2006-2007 Budget Bill Passed - House (100 - 3)
May 25, 2006 AZ HB 2876 Tax Law Amendments Bill Passed - House (32 - 23)
May 25, 2006 OH HJR 13 Redistricting Changes Joint Resolution Failed - House (53 - 42)
May 25, 2006 OH HJR 13 Redistricting Changes Joint Resolution Failed - House (53 - 42)
May 25, 2006 SC S 1084 Penalties For Harming An Unborn Child/Fetus Bill Passed - House (81 - 18)
May 25, 2006 AZ SB 1576 Omnibus Tax Bill Bill Passed - Senate (17 - 11)
May 25, 2006 OH HJR 13 Redistricting Changes Joint Resolution Failed - House (58 - 37)
May 25, 2006 OH HJR 13 Redistricting Changes Joint Resolution Failed - House (58 - 37)
May 25, 2006 NC SB 1741 Fiscal Budget of 2006 Bill Passed - Senate (34 - 14)
May 24, 2006 MA H 4479 MassHealth Immigrant Eligibility Veto Override Veto Override Passed - Senate (34 - 5)
May 24, 2006 MA Amdt 8 to SB 3 Sales Tax Holiday Amendment Adopted - Senate (23 - 16)
May 24, 2006 NH HB 656 "Do Not Resuscitate" Bill Conference Report Adopted - House (168 - 165)
May 24, 2006 OK SB 1807 Prohibiting Death Sentence For Mentally Retarded Defendant Conference Report Adopted - Senate (35 - 10)
May 24, 2006 NH HB 678 Insurance Company Tax Reduction Conference Report Adopted - House (204 - 109)
May 24, 2006 UT SB 3007 Economic Development Funding (Special Session) Bill Passed - House (38 - 28)
May 24, 2006 MI HB 5796 2006-2007 Budget Bill Passed - House (60 - 46)
May 24, 2006 UT 2SHB 3001 2006-2007 Transportation Budget Amendments Conference Report Adopted - House (40 - 20)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/04 S 2193 Presidential Primaries Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 5)
9/28 S Amdt 5104 Military Commissions Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (47 - 52)
9/26 N/A Motion to Resolve Into Secret Session Motion Rejected - House (171 - 217)
9/21 HR 6095 Immigration Law Enforcement Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (277 - 140)
9/20 HR 4844 Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (228 - 196)
9/13 S Amdt 4936 National Security Amendment Motion Rejected - Senate (41 - 57)
8/16 SCA 3 Redistricting Commission Resolution Passed - Senate (27 - 11)
8/16 SCA 3 Redistricting Commission Resolution Passed - Senate (27 - 11)
7/26 HB 1024 Instant Runoff Voting Concurrence Vote Passed - House (59 - 52)
7/25 HB 1323 Establishment of NC Innocence Inquiry Commission Conference Report Adopted - House (86 - 28)
7/25 HB 1323 Establishment of NC Innocence Inquiry Commission Conference Report Adopted - House (86 - 28)
7/19 HR 2389 Pledge Protection Act of 2006 Bill Passed - House (260 - 167)
7/19 HB 1024 Instant Runoff Voting Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 18)
7/18 H J Res 88 Same-Sex Marriage Resolution Joint Resolution Failed - House (236 - 187)
7/13 H 126 Unsigned Political Posters Veto Override Passed - Senate (30 - 6)
7/13 HR 9 Voting Rights Act Reauthorization Bill Passed - House (390 - 33)
7/08 A 4707 Luxury and Fuel Inefficient Automobiles Bill Passed - House (43 - 36)
7/08 A 4707 Luxury and Fuel Inefficient Automobiles Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 19)
7/08 A 4901 Sales Tax Bill of 2006 Bill Passed - House (41 - 38)
7/08 A 4714 Fur Clothing Tax Bill Passed - House (44 - 32)
7/08 HB 1020 Business Deductions for Employees Restrictions Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 13)
7/08 A 4714 Fur Clothing Tax Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 19)
7/08 A 4901 Sales Tax Bill of 2006 Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 18)
7/08 S 2007 2006-2007 Budget Bill Passed - House (44 - 35)
7/08 S 2007 2006-2007 Budget Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)
7/01 HB 2499 2006-2007 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (130 - 68)
7/01 HB 2499 2006-2007 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (28 - 21)
6/28 A7999 to HB 1959 English as Official Language Amendment Adopted - House (122 - 70)
6/27 AB 1801 2006-2007 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (54 - 23)
6/27 AB 1801 2006-2007 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (30 - 10)
6/27 S J Res 12 Flag Desecration Constitutional Amendment Resolution Failed - Senate (66 - 34)
6/23 H 6885 International Trade Agreements Veto Override Passed - Senate (26 - 4)
6/23 H 6885 International Trade Agreements Veto Override Passed - House (49 - 15)
6/23 H 6885 International Trade Agreements Veto Override Passed - House (49 - 15)
6/23 H 6885 International Trade Agreements Veto Override Passed - Senate (26 - 4)
6/22 A 3257 Eminent Domain and Redevelopment Programs Bill Passed - House (51 - 18)
6/22 HR 4890 Line Item Veto Bill Bill Passed - House (247 - 172)
6/21 S 8446 DNA Database Expansion Bill Passed - Senate (56 - 2)
6/21 SB 1430 Children, Child Protective Services Bill Failed - House (29 - 27)
6/19 LCO # 2161/3 to H 7120 Sub A Education Funding Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (23 - 47)
6/19 Article 24 to H 7120 Sub A Article 24 Relating to Tuition Tax Credits Motion Agreed - House (62 - 8)
6/19 LCO # 2167/2 Tax Credits for Contributions to Scholarship Programs Amendment Rejected - House (32 - 39)
6/18 HCR 127 Louisiana Health Care Redesign Collaborative Concurrence Vote Passed - House (52 - 32)
6/16 SB 382 Gift Ban on Cultural and Sporting Events for Elected Officials Motion Agreed - House (49 - 43)
6/16 HB 194 Minimum Wage for State Employees Bill Failed - Senate (16 - 18)
6/16 HB 194 Minimum Wage for State Employees Bill Failed - Senate (14 - 19)
6/15 LCO # 2223/6 Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Amendment Amendment Rejected - House (25 - 36)
6/15 SB 1741 Fiscal Budget of 2006 Bill Passed - House (91 - 23)
6/14 SB 52 Maryland Transportation Authority Veto Override Passed - House (94 - 42)
6/14 H 4810 2006-2007 Budget Veto Override Passed - Senate (37 - 7)
6/14 H 4810 2006-2007 Budget Veto Override Passed - House (99 - 13)
6/14 H 4410 Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements Bill Veto Override Failed - House (73 - 40)
6/14 H 4410 Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements Bill Veto Override Failed - House (73 - 40)
6/14 SB 52 Maryland Transportation Authority Veto Override Passed - Senate (34 - 13)
6/14 H 4410 Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements Bill Veto Override Failed - Senate (8 - 29)
6/14 H 4410 Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements Bill Veto Override Failed - Senate (8 - 29)
6/14 HB 39 Property Taxes (Special Session) Conference Report Adopted - House (137 - 61)
6/14 HB 1379 Procedures for the Granting of a Divorce When There are Minor Children Concurrence Vote Passed - House (67 - 20)
6/13 H 6874 Ballot Questions from Governor Veto Override Passed - Senate (28 - 9)
6/13 H 6874 Ballot Questions from Governor Veto Override Passed - Senate (28 - 9)
6/12 HB 698 Mental Retardation Consideration in Murder Cases Bill Passed - House (169 - 28)
6/08 CCS SB 2001 Oil and Gas Tax (Special Session) Conference Report Rejected - House (13 - 25)
6/08 CCS SB 2001 Oil and Gas Tax (Special Session) Conference Report Adopted - Senate (14 - 6)
6/07 S J Res 1 Same Sex Marriage Resolution Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (49 - 48)
6/07 HR 5521 Legislative Branch FY 2007 Appropriations Bill Bill Passed - House (361 - 53)
6/06 H 6874 Ballot Questions from Governor Veto Override Passed - House (50 - 23)
6/06 H 6874 Ballot Questions from Governor Veto Override Passed - House (50 - 23)
6/06 HCS CS SB 2001 Oil and Gas Tax (Special Session) Concurrence Vote Failed - Senate (8 - 12)
6/06 HB 194 Minimum Wage for State Employees Bill Passed - House (66 - 35)
6/04 HCS CS SB 2001 Oil and Gas Tax (Special Session) Bill Passed - House (28 - 12)
6/01 HB 2876 Tax Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 7)
5/31 AB 4 Tax Deduction for Health Savings Account Veto Override Failed - House (61 - 36)
5/31 H 4449 Sales and Property Taxes Conference Report Adopted - Senate (32 - 11)
5/31 HB 1108 Lower Ninth Ward Improvement Authority Bill Passed - House (60 - 39)
5/30 SB 1796 Overhaul Flood and Levee Board Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 12)
5/30 AB 2948 Electoral College: Interstate Compact Bill Passed - House (49 - 31)
5/27 SB 3178 State Legislator’s Pension Plan Conference Report Adopted - House (67 - 12)
5/27 SB 3178 State Legislator’s Pension Plan Conference Report Adopted - Senate (17 - 8)
5/26 HA 1609 to HB 1114 Primary Election Regulations Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (48 - 45)
5/26 HA 1609 to HB 1114 Primary Election Regulations Amendment Amendment Adopted - House (48 - 45)
5/26 SB 1807 Prohibiting Death Sentence For Mentally Retarded Defendant Conference Report Adopted - House (91 - 5)
5/25 Amdt 3 to S 1084 Inclusion of Unborn Child/Fetus in Definition for Civil Suits Amendment Amendment Tabled - House (65 - 31)
5/25 HB 2577 Immigration Law; Employment; Enforcement Conference Report Adopted - Senate (16 - 9)
5/25 HB 1 2006-2007 Budget Bill Passed - House (100 - 3)
5/25 HB 2876 Tax Law Amendments Bill Passed - House (32 - 23)
5/25 HJR 13 Redistricting Changes Joint Resolution Failed - House (53 - 42)
5/25 HJR 13 Redistricting Changes Joint Resolution Failed - House (53 - 42)
5/25 S 1084 Penalties For Harming An Unborn Child/Fetus Bill Passed - House (81 - 18)
5/25 SB 1576 Omnibus Tax Bill Bill Passed - Senate (17 - 11)
5/25 HJR 13 Redistricting Changes Joint Resolution Failed - House (58 - 37)
5/25 HJR 13 Redistricting Changes Joint Resolution Failed - House (58 - 37)
5/25 SB 1741 Fiscal Budget of 2006 Bill Passed - Senate (34 - 14)
5/24 H 4479 MassHealth Immigrant Eligibility Veto Override Veto Override Passed - Senate (34 - 5)
5/24 Amdt 8 to SB 3 Sales Tax Holiday Amendment Adopted - Senate (23 - 16)
5/24 HB 656 "Do Not Resuscitate" Bill Conference Report Adopted - House (168 - 165)
5/24 SB 1807 Prohibiting Death Sentence For Mentally Retarded Defendant Conference Report Adopted - Senate (35 - 10)
5/24 HB 678 Insurance Company Tax Reduction Conference Report Adopted - House (204 - 109)
5/24 SB 3007 Economic Development Funding (Special Session) Bill Passed - House (38 - 28)
5/24 HB 5796 2006-2007 Budget Bill Passed - House (60 - 46)
5/24 2SHB 3001 2006-2007 Transportation Budget Amendments Conference Report Adopted - House (40 - 20)

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