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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. 18, 2008 CA ABx1 8 Amending Sentencing, Parole, and Property Crime Statutes Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
Dec. 11, 2008 MI SB 505 Authorizing Judges to Carry Concealed Weapons in Courtrooms Bill Passed - House (80 - 18)
Dec. 10, 2008 OH HB 648 Increasing Restrictions on Access to Confidential Personal Information Bill Passed - House (69 - 26)
Dec. 4, 2008 MI HB 4090 Expanding Early Voting Bill Passed - House (58 - 50)
Dec. 4, 2008 MI HB 5117 Prohibiting Text Messaging While Driving Bill Passed - House (68 - 32)
Dec. 4, 2008 MI HB 4404 Prohibiting Life Without Parole Sentencing for Juveniles Bill Passed - House (59 - 47)
Dec. 4, 2008 MI HB 4405 Juvenile Parole Eligibility Reform Bill Passed - House (63 - 43)
Oct. 21, 2008 SC S 429 DNA Sampling Upon Felony Arrest Veto Override Passed - House (86 - 25)
Oct. 21, 2008 SC S 429 DNA Sampling Upon Felony Arrest Veto Override Passed - House (86 - 25)
Sept. 24, 2008 National HR 2638 Continuing Appropriations Concurrence Vote Passed - House (370 - 58)
Sept. 17, 2008 National HR 6842 Repealing Portions of the D.C. Firearm Ban Bill Passed - House (266 - 152)
Aug. 31, 2008 CA SB 1407 Financing Courthouse Construction Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (26 - 10)
Aug. 29, 2008 CA SB 1407 Financing Courthouse Construction Bill Passed - House (45 - 20)
Aug. 21, 2008 CA SB 28 Prohibiting Text Messaging While Driving Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (25 - 14)
Aug. 20, 2008 CA AB 2279 Prohibiting Employment Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Patients Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 15)
Aug. 20, 2008 CA AB 2233 Ban on Holding Pets While Driving Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 17)
Aug. 20, 2008 CA AB 2747 Disclosing End-of-Life Care Options Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 17)
Aug. 19, 2008 CA SB 1171 Expanding Loaded Firearm Restrictions Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (21 - 14)
Aug. 13, 2008 CA SB 1171 Expanding Loaded Firearm Restrictions Bill Passed - House (45 - 32)
Aug. 13, 2008 CA SB 28 Prohibiting Text Messaging While Driving Bill Passed - House (52 - 24)
Aug. 12, 2008 CA SB 1589 Uncorroborated Jailhouse Informant Testimony Ban Bill Passed - House (41 - 37)
Aug. 7, 2008 CA AB 2654 Expanding Anti-Discrimination Laws Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
July 30, 2008 National HR 1108 FDA Regulation of Tobacco Bill Passed - House (326 - 102)
July 29, 2008 MA Peterson Amdt to H 5022 Reducing Firearm Licensing Fee Amendment Adopted - House (97 - 59)
July 29, 2008 MA S 2807 Election Day Voter Registration Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 5)
July 17, 2008 NC HB 2340 Prohibiting Children from Riding in Pickup Truck Beds Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 20)
July 16, 2008 National H Amdt 1114 Allowing the Use of Certain Terms in Within the Intelligence Community Amendment Adopted - House (249 - 180)
July 9, 2008 National S Amdt 5064 Striking Telecom Immunity from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Bill Amendment Rejected - Senate (32 - 66)
July 9, 2008 National S Amdt 5064 Striking Telecom Immunity from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Bill Amendment Rejected - Senate (32 - 66)
July 9, 2008 National HR 6304 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (69 - 28)
July 9, 2008 National HR 6304 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (69 - 28)
July 2, 2008 NC SB 1988 Outlaws Burning Crosses and Hanging Nooses Bill Passed - Senate (47 - 3)
July 2, 2008 NC SB 1988 Outlaws Burning Crosses and Hanging Nooses Bill Passed - Senate (47 - 3)
July 1, 2008 DE SB 300 2008-2009 Budget Bill Passed - Senate (15 - 6)
July 1, 2008 DE SB 300 2008-2009 Budget Bill Passed - House (33 - 7)
June 28, 2008 WV HB 219 Nonbroadcast Political Advertisements Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 9)
June 27, 2008 AZ HB 2389 Involving Gun Owners' Rights Conference Report Adopted - Senate (17 - 5)
June 27, 2008 AZ HB 2389 Involving Gun Owners' Rights Conference Report Adopted - House (33 - 21)
June 27, 2008 AZ SCR 1042 Parameters of Marriage Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (16 - 4)
June 26, 2008 National HR 2642 Iraq and Afghanistan War Funding, Unemployment Benefits Extension, and GI Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (92 - 6)
June 26, 2008 AZ HB 2713 Student's Religious Liberties Act Bill Passed - Senate (16 - 10)
June 26, 2008 WV HB 219 Nonbroadcast Political Advertisements Bill Passed - House (67 - 21)
June 25, 2008 AZ SCR 1042 Parameters of Marriage Concurrence Vote Failed - Senate (14 - 11)
June 25, 2008 PA A 7738 Real ID Biometric Data Bill Failed - House (92 - 108)
June 25, 2008 PA A 7738 Real ID Biometric Data Bill Failed - House (92 - 108)
June 23, 2008 AZ SB 1476 Reducing Probation for Good Behavior Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (20 - 4)
June 23, 2008 AZ SB 1476 Reducing Probation for Good Behavior Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (20 - 4)
June 23, 2008 NJ A 339 Handgun Purchasing Limitations Bill Passed - House (47 - 28)
June 21, 2008 LA HB 906 Anonymity of Ethics Board Complaints Concurrence Vote Passed - House (79 - 21)
June 20, 2008 LA SB 51 Guns in Parked Locked Cars Bill Passed - House (66 - 35)
June 20, 2008 LA SB 718 State Board Member and Commissioner Financial Disclosures Bill Passed - House (92 - 8)
June 20, 2008 National HR 6304 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Bill Passed - House (293 - 129)
June 20, 2008 RI S 2706 Red Light Cameras Bill Passed - House (44 - 12)
June 20, 2008 National HR 6304 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Bill Passed - House (293 - 129)
June 19, 2008 National HR 2642 Funding for Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan Concurrence Vote Passed - House (268 - 155)
June 19, 2008 National HR 2642 Funding for Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan Concurrence Vote Passed - House (416 - 12)
June 19, 2008 LA SB 137 Young Drivers Using Cell Phones While Driving Bill Passed - House (70 - 19)
June 18, 2008 NY S 4632 Reinstate the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 21)
June 17, 2008 LA HB 852 Banning Cell Phones While Driving Bill Failed - Senate (6 - 27)
June 17, 2008 RI S 2706 Red Light Cameras Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 2)
June 17, 2008 NC SB 1686 Restrictions on Public Smoking Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 15)
June 12, 2008 RI H 7222 page 5, re: Sec. 3-8-9: Transportation of Alcohol by Minors Bill Passed - House (52 - 14)
June 12, 2008 NY S 2375 DNA Database Expansion Bill Passed - Senate (51 - 9)
June 12, 2008 NY S 2375 DNA Database Expansion Bill Passed - Senate (51 - 9)
June 12, 2008 RI H 7222 page 5, re: Sec. 3-8-9: Transportation of Alcohol by Minors Bill Passed - House (52 - 14)
June 11, 2008 LA SB 144 Castration of Sex Offenders Bill Passed - House (69 - 15)
June 10, 2008 PA SB 246 Smoking Ban Conference Report Adopted - Senate (41 - 9)
June 10, 2008 National HR 6028 Assistance for Mexico and Central America for Anti-Drug Programs (Merida Program) Bill Passed - House (311 - 106)
June 10, 2008 National HR 6028 Assistance for Mexico and Central America for Anti-Drug Programs (Merida Program) Bill Passed - House (311 - 106)
June 4, 2008 PA SB 246 Smoking Ban Conference Report Adopted - House (163 - 38)
June 4, 2008 PA SB 246 Smoking Ban Conference Report Rejected - Senate (19 - 31)
May 29, 2008 SC H 4400 Immigration Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - House (94 - 16)
May 29, 2008 OH SB 184 Lethal Force Against Intruders Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (25 - 7)
May 29, 2008 CA AB 2062 Regulation Of Ammunition Sales Bill Passed - House (42 - 32)
May 29, 2008 LA S Amdt 3870 Legislator Financial Disclosures Amendment Rejected - Senate (5 - 29)
May 29, 2008 CA 2099 State IDs for Parolees Bill Passed - House (46 - 31)
May 29, 2008 CA 2099 State IDs for Parolees Bill Passed - House (46 - 31)
May 29, 2008 CA SB 1096 Pharmacy Prescription Refill Mailings Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 16)
May 29, 2008 CA CA SB 1665 Prison Health Care Facility Bonds Bill Failed - Senate (24 - 15)
May 29, 2008 CA SB 1407 Financing Courthouse Construction Bill Passed - Senate (28 - 8)
May 28, 2008 OH SB 184 Lethal Force Against Intruders Bill Passed - House (73 - 23)
May 28, 2008 CA AB 2279 Prohibiting Employment Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Patients Bill Passed - House (41 - 35)
May 28, 2008 MI HB 5074 Ban Smoking in Places of Employment and Public Places with Exceptions for Casinos, Cigar Bars, and Specialty Tobacco Stores Bill Passed - House (65 - 39)
May 28, 2008 CA AB 2747 Disclosing End-of-Life Care Options Bill Passed - House (42 - 34)
May 28, 2008 LA SB 718 State Board Member and Commissioner Financial Disclosures Bill Passed - Senate (28 - 9)
May 27, 2008 IL HB 5288 Expand Use of Red Light Cameras Bill Failed - Senate (26 - 24)
May 27, 2008 CA AB 1996 Food Stamps for Convicted Drug Felons Bill Passed - House (42 - 35)
May 27, 2008 MI SB 776 Late-Term/Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Bill Passed - House (74 - 32)
May 27, 2008 CA AB 2654 Expanding Anti-Discrimination Laws Bill Passed - House (48 - 30)
May 22, 2008 MS SB 2004 Voter Identification Requirement Bill Passed - Senate (30 - 17)
May 21, 2008 AZ HB 2629 Legalizing the Defensive Display of a Firearm Concurrence Vote Passed - House (34 - 26)
May 21, 2008 LA SB 51 Guns in Parked Locked Cars Bill Passed - Senate (28 - 4)
May 20, 2008 National HR 6074 Prohibiting Foreign States or Associations from Forming a Group to Control Oil Bill Passed - House (324 - 84)
May 19, 2008 AZ HB 2389 Involving Gun Owners' Rights Bill Passed - Senate (17 - 9)
May 19, 2008 AZ SB 1476 Reducing Probation for Good Behavior Bill Passed - House (35 - 18)
May 19, 2008 AZ SB 1476 Reducing Probation for Good Behavior Bill Passed - House (35 - 18)
May 15, 2008 National HR 2642 G.I. Bill Expansion and Other Domestic Provisions Concurrence Vote Failed - House (141 - 149)
May 15, 2008 National HR 2642 G.I. Bill Expansion and Other Domestic Provisions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (227 - 196)
May 15, 2008 CA SB 1589 Uncorroborated Jailhouse Informant Testimony Ban Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 14)
May 15, 2008 CA SB 1322 Communist Party Membership Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/18 ABx1 8 Amending Sentencing, Parole, and Property Crime Statutes Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
12/11 SB 505 Authorizing Judges to Carry Concealed Weapons in Courtrooms Bill Passed - House (80 - 18)
12/10 HB 648 Increasing Restrictions on Access to Confidential Personal Information Bill Passed - House (69 - 26)
12/04 HB 4090 Expanding Early Voting Bill Passed - House (58 - 50)
12/04 HB 5117 Prohibiting Text Messaging While Driving Bill Passed - House (68 - 32)
12/04 HB 4404 Prohibiting Life Without Parole Sentencing for Juveniles Bill Passed - House (59 - 47)
12/04 HB 4405 Juvenile Parole Eligibility Reform Bill Passed - House (63 - 43)
10/21 S 429 DNA Sampling Upon Felony Arrest Veto Override Passed - House (86 - 25)
10/21 S 429 DNA Sampling Upon Felony Arrest Veto Override Passed - House (86 - 25)
9/24 HR 2638 Continuing Appropriations Concurrence Vote Passed - House (370 - 58)
9/17 HR 6842 Repealing Portions of the D.C. Firearm Ban Bill Passed - House (266 - 152)
8/31 SB 1407 Financing Courthouse Construction Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (26 - 10)
8/29 SB 1407 Financing Courthouse Construction Bill Passed - House (45 - 20)
8/21 SB 28 Prohibiting Text Messaging While Driving Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (25 - 14)
8/20 AB 2279 Prohibiting Employment Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Patients Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 15)
8/20 AB 2233 Ban on Holding Pets While Driving Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 17)
8/20 AB 2747 Disclosing End-of-Life Care Options Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 17)
8/19 SB 1171 Expanding Loaded Firearm Restrictions Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (21 - 14)
8/13 SB 1171 Expanding Loaded Firearm Restrictions Bill Passed - House (45 - 32)
8/13 SB 28 Prohibiting Text Messaging While Driving Bill Passed - House (52 - 24)
8/12 SB 1589 Uncorroborated Jailhouse Informant Testimony Ban Bill Passed - House (41 - 37)
8/07 AB 2654 Expanding Anti-Discrimination Laws Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
7/30 HR 1108 FDA Regulation of Tobacco Bill Passed - House (326 - 102)
7/29 Peterson Amdt to H 5022 Reducing Firearm Licensing Fee Amendment Adopted - House (97 - 59)
7/29 S 2807 Election Day Voter Registration Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 5)
7/17 HB 2340 Prohibiting Children from Riding in Pickup Truck Beds Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 20)
7/16 H Amdt 1114 Allowing the Use of Certain Terms in Within the Intelligence Community Amendment Adopted - House (249 - 180)
7/09 S Amdt 5064 Striking Telecom Immunity from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Bill Amendment Rejected - Senate (32 - 66)
7/09 S Amdt 5064 Striking Telecom Immunity from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Bill Amendment Rejected - Senate (32 - 66)
7/09 HR 6304 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (69 - 28)
7/09 HR 6304 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (69 - 28)
7/02 SB 1988 Outlaws Burning Crosses and Hanging Nooses Bill Passed - Senate (47 - 3)
7/02 SB 1988 Outlaws Burning Crosses and Hanging Nooses Bill Passed - Senate (47 - 3)
7/01 SB 300 2008-2009 Budget Bill Passed - Senate (15 - 6)
7/01 SB 300 2008-2009 Budget Bill Passed - House (33 - 7)
6/28 HB 219 Nonbroadcast Political Advertisements Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 9)
6/27 HB 2389 Involving Gun Owners' Rights Conference Report Adopted - Senate (17 - 5)
6/27 HB 2389 Involving Gun Owners' Rights Conference Report Adopted - House (33 - 21)
6/27 SCR 1042 Parameters of Marriage Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (16 - 4)
6/26 HR 2642 Iraq and Afghanistan War Funding, Unemployment Benefits Extension, and GI Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (92 - 6)
6/26 HB 2713 Student's Religious Liberties Act Bill Passed - Senate (16 - 10)
6/26 HB 219 Nonbroadcast Political Advertisements Bill Passed - House (67 - 21)
6/25 SCR 1042 Parameters of Marriage Concurrence Vote Failed - Senate (14 - 11)
6/25 A 7738 Real ID Biometric Data Bill Failed - House (92 - 108)
6/25 A 7738 Real ID Biometric Data Bill Failed - House (92 - 108)
6/23 SB 1476 Reducing Probation for Good Behavior Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (20 - 4)
6/23 SB 1476 Reducing Probation for Good Behavior Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (20 - 4)
6/23 A 339 Handgun Purchasing Limitations Bill Passed - House (47 - 28)
6/21 HB 906 Anonymity of Ethics Board Complaints Concurrence Vote Passed - House (79 - 21)
6/20 SB 51 Guns in Parked Locked Cars Bill Passed - House (66 - 35)
6/20 SB 718 State Board Member and Commissioner Financial Disclosures Bill Passed - House (92 - 8)
6/20 HR 6304 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Bill Passed - House (293 - 129)
6/20 S 2706 Red Light Cameras Bill Passed - House (44 - 12)
6/20 HR 6304 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Bill Passed - House (293 - 129)
6/19 HR 2642 Funding for Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan Concurrence Vote Passed - House (268 - 155)
6/19 HR 2642 Funding for Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan Concurrence Vote Passed - House (416 - 12)
6/19 SB 137 Young Drivers Using Cell Phones While Driving Bill Passed - House (70 - 19)
6/18 S 4632 Reinstate the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 21)
6/17 HB 852 Banning Cell Phones While Driving Bill Failed - Senate (6 - 27)
6/17 S 2706 Red Light Cameras Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 2)
6/17 SB 1686 Restrictions on Public Smoking Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 15)
6/12 H 7222 page 5, re: Sec. 3-8-9: Transportation of Alcohol by Minors Bill Passed - House (52 - 14)
6/12 S 2375 DNA Database Expansion Bill Passed - Senate (51 - 9)
6/12 S 2375 DNA Database Expansion Bill Passed - Senate (51 - 9)
6/12 H 7222 page 5, re: Sec. 3-8-9: Transportation of Alcohol by Minors Bill Passed - House (52 - 14)
6/11 SB 144 Castration of Sex Offenders Bill Passed - House (69 - 15)
6/10 SB 246 Smoking Ban Conference Report Adopted - Senate (41 - 9)
6/10 HR 6028 Assistance for Mexico and Central America for Anti-Drug Programs (Merida Program) Bill Passed - House (311 - 106)
6/10 HR 6028 Assistance for Mexico and Central America for Anti-Drug Programs (Merida Program) Bill Passed - House (311 - 106)
6/04 SB 246 Smoking Ban Conference Report Adopted - House (163 - 38)
6/04 SB 246 Smoking Ban Conference Report Rejected - Senate (19 - 31)
5/29 H 4400 Immigration Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - House (94 - 16)
5/29 SB 184 Lethal Force Against Intruders Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (25 - 7)
5/29 AB 2062 Regulation Of Ammunition Sales Bill Passed - House (42 - 32)
5/29 S Amdt 3870 Legislator Financial Disclosures Amendment Rejected - Senate (5 - 29)
5/29 2099 State IDs for Parolees Bill Passed - House (46 - 31)
5/29 2099 State IDs for Parolees Bill Passed - House (46 - 31)
5/29 SB 1096 Pharmacy Prescription Refill Mailings Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 16)
5/29 CA SB 1665 Prison Health Care Facility Bonds Bill Failed - Senate (24 - 15)
5/29 SB 1407 Financing Courthouse Construction Bill Passed - Senate (28 - 8)
5/28 SB 184 Lethal Force Against Intruders Bill Passed - House (73 - 23)
5/28 AB 2279 Prohibiting Employment Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Patients Bill Passed - House (41 - 35)
5/28 HB 5074 Ban Smoking in Places of Employment and Public Places with Exceptions for Casinos, Cigar Bars, and Specialty Tobacco Stores Bill Passed - House (65 - 39)
5/28 AB 2747 Disclosing End-of-Life Care Options Bill Passed - House (42 - 34)
5/28 SB 718 State Board Member and Commissioner Financial Disclosures Bill Passed - Senate (28 - 9)
5/27 HB 5288 Expand Use of Red Light Cameras Bill Failed - Senate (26 - 24)
5/27 AB 1996 Food Stamps for Convicted Drug Felons Bill Passed - House (42 - 35)
5/27 SB 776 Late-Term/Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Bill Passed - House (74 - 32)
5/27 AB 2654 Expanding Anti-Discrimination Laws Bill Passed - House (48 - 30)
5/22 SB 2004 Voter Identification Requirement Bill Passed - Senate (30 - 17)
5/21 HB 2629 Legalizing the Defensive Display of a Firearm Concurrence Vote Passed - House (34 - 26)
5/21 SB 51 Guns in Parked Locked Cars Bill Passed - Senate (28 - 4)
5/20 HR 6074 Prohibiting Foreign States or Associations from Forming a Group to Control Oil Bill Passed - House (324 - 84)
5/19 HB 2389 Involving Gun Owners' Rights Bill Passed - Senate (17 - 9)
5/19 SB 1476 Reducing Probation for Good Behavior Bill Passed - House (35 - 18)
5/19 SB 1476 Reducing Probation for Good Behavior Bill Passed - House (35 - 18)
5/15 HR 2642 G.I. Bill Expansion and Other Domestic Provisions Concurrence Vote Failed - House (141 - 149)
5/15 HR 2642 G.I. Bill Expansion and Other Domestic Provisions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (227 - 196)
5/15 SB 1589 Uncorroborated Jailhouse Informant Testimony Ban Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 14)
5/15 SB 1322 Communist Party Membership Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)

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