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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. 19, 2008 MI SB 861 Tuition Assistance for Students in High Poverty Areas Bill Passed - House (61 - 34)
Dec. 18, 2008 CA ABx1 4 Reducing Education Appropriations Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 8)
Dec. 15, 2008 NJ A 3373 Amending NJ STARS/NJ STARS II Scholarship Eligibility Bill Passed - House (63 - 10)
Dec. 15, 2008 NJ A 3373 Amending NJ STARS/NJ STARS II Scholarship Eligibility Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 4)
Dec. 11, 2008 MI HB 4141 Expanding the Use of School Sinking Funds Bill Passed - House (71 - 28)
Dec. 10, 2008 MI SB 861 Tuition Assistance for Students in High Poverty Areas Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 13)
Dec. 4, 2008 MI HB 5765 Reducing Pupil Count for First Class School Districts Bill Passed - House (59 - 42)
Sept. 26, 2008 National HR 7060 Renewable Energy Credits and Other Business and Individual Credits Bill Passed - House (257 - 166)
Sept. 10, 2008 MO SB 873 Voting Student Curator on the University of Missouri Board of Curators Veto Override Failed - Senate (16 - 17)
Aug. 31, 2008 CA SB 1301 Extending Student Financial Aid Eligibility Bill Passed - House (46 - 29)
Aug. 13, 2008 CA AB 86 Cyber-Bullying Enforcement Concurrence Vote Passed - House (52 - 22)
Aug. 11, 2008 CA AB 86 Cyber-Bullying Enforcement Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 12)
Aug. 8, 2008 NY S 8736 School District Property Tax Cap Bill Passed - Senate (38 - 20)
Aug. 7, 2008 CA AB 2567 Creation of "Harvey Milk Day" Concurrence Vote Passed - House (47 - 27)
Aug. 5, 2008 CA AB 2567 Creation of "Harvey Milk Day" Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 13)
July 31, 2008 National HR 4137 Higher Education Act Amendments and Extensions Conference Report Adopted - House (380 - 49)
July 31, 2008 National HR 4137 Higher Education Act Amendments and Extensions Conference Report Adopted - Senate (83 - 8)
July 8, 2008 NC HB 2436 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (97 - 20)
July 8, 2008 NC HB 2436 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (32 - 14)
July 4, 2008 PA HB 1067 Omnibus Education Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - House (191 - 11)
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 30, 2008 CA SB 823 Private Postsecondary Education Regulation Bill Failed - House (41 - 33)
June 27, 2008 NV SB 5 2008-2009 Education Budget Bill Passed - Senate (12 - 9)
June 26, 2008 AZ HB 2713 Student's Religious Liberties Act Bill Passed - Senate (16 - 10)
June 23, 2008 CA SB 606 'No Child Left Behind' Implementation Bill Passed - House (54 - 24)
June 23, 2008 NJ S 1962 State Worker Retirement and Health Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 8)
June 23, 2008 NJ S 1962 State Worker Retirement and Health Benefits Bill Passed - House (52 - 13)
June 23, 2008 NJ A 2873 School Construction Bonds Bill Passed - House (42 - 36)
June 23, 2008 NJ A 2873 School Construction Bonds Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 18)
June 19, 2008 NC HB 2436 2008-2009 Budget Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 14)
June 18, 2008 LA HB 734 Tuition Increase Bill Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 8)
June 11, 2008 LA SB 733 Supplemental Science Teaching Materials Bill Passed - House (94 - 3)
June 11, 2008 LA HB 1347 Vouchers Bill Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 12)
June 9, 2008 CA SB 606 'No Child Left Behind' Implementation Bill Failed - House (49 - 26)
June 9, 2008 LA HB 734 Tuition Increase Bill Bill Passed - House (84 - 18)
June 4, 2008 AZ HB 2475 Bonds for School Computers Bill Failed - Senate (14 - 13)
June 4, 2008 NH SSHB 1 Education Appropriations Bill Passed - Senate (14 - 9)
May 31, 2008 AL SB 51 2008-2009 Education Budget Bill Passed - House (98 - 4)
May 29, 2008 SC H 4400 Immigration Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - House (94 - 16)
May 29, 2008 AL SB 51 2008-2009 Education Budget Bill Passed - Senate (32 - 1)
May 28, 2008 WI AB 1 Senior Health Care Line Item Veto Override Veto Override Failed - House (60 - 36)
May 28, 2008 WI AB 1 Senior Health Care Line Item Veto Override Veto Override Failed - House (57 - 39)
May 22, 2008 National S Amdt 4803 GI Bill and Other Domestic Provisions Amendment Adopted - Senate (75 - 22)
May 22, 2008 IL HB 2310 Truancy, Information Sharing, and Fines Bill Passed - House (85 - 25)
May 19, 2008 CA AB 2567 Creation of "Harvey Milk Day" Bill Passed - House (45 - 28)
May 15, 2008 National HR 2642 G.I. Bill Expansion and Other Domestic Provisions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (256 - 166)
May 15, 2008 CA SB 1322 Communist Party Membership Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)
May 14, 2008 AZ HB 2557 Fine Arts and Physical Education in School Concurrence Vote Passed - House (47 - 9)
May 14, 2008 LA HB 1347 Vouchers Bill Bill Passed - House (60 - 42)
May 14, 2008 NH CACR 34 Constitutional Amendment to Define an Adequate Education Resolution Failed - House (97 - 238)
May 14, 2008 WI AB 1 Budget Repair Plan Conference Report Adopted - House (51 - 46)
May 13, 2008 MN HF 6 2008 Education Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (55 - 10)
May 13, 2008 MN HF 6 2008 Education Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (97 - 35)
May 13, 2008 WI AB 1 Budget Repair Plan Conference Report Adopted - Senate (17 - 16)
May 12, 2008 OK HB 2633 Religious Expression at Schools Concurrence Vote Passed - House (70 - 28)
May 12, 2008 CA SB 1301 Extending Student Financial Aid Eligibility Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 13)
May 8, 2008 MN SF 3001 Modifying State Education Policies Conference Report Adopted - House (82 - 49)
May 7, 2008 MN SF 3001 Modifying State Education Policies Conference Report Adopted - Senate (45 - 20)
May 7, 2008 NH SB 539 Education Funding Amendments Bill Passed - House (184 - 141)
May 7, 2008 OH SB 57 Disability Scholarship Fund Bill Passed - Senate (17 - 15)
May 6, 2008 CO HB 1388 Increasing Education Funding Conference Report Adopted - House (58 - 5)
May 6, 2008 CO HB 1388 Increasing Education Funding Conference Report Adopted - Senate (22 - 13)
May 5, 2008 MO HB 2003 2008-2009 Department of Higher Education Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (88 - 63)
May 5, 2008 MO HB 2002 2008-2009 Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (88 - 62)
May 1, 2008 MN SF 2369 Background Checks for Coaches Conference Report Adopted - House (112 - 15)
May 1, 2008 National HR 5715 Student Loan Provision Changes Concurrence Vote Passed - House (388 - 21)
May 1, 2008 AL HB 787 State Employees in Public Office Bill Passed - House (57 - 36)
May 1, 2008 CO HB 1357 Changing student testing requirements Bill Passed - House (35 - 29)
April 29, 2008 AZ HB 2557 Fine Arts and Physical Education in School Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 4)
April 29, 2008 LA HB 674 Anti-Bullying Bill Bill Failed - House (28 - 63)
April 28, 2008 MN Walker Amdt to SF 3001 Sex Education in Schools Amendment Adopted - House (79 - 53)
April 28, 2008 FL SB 2692 Teaching Evolution in Public Schools Bill Passed - House (71 - 43)
April 24, 2008 AZ HB 2711 State Control of Mismanaged Schools Concurrence Vote Passed - House (44 - 6)
April 24, 2008 MO HB 2059 Establishes the Professional Relationships Between Teachers and School Districts Act. Bill Passed - House (83 - 67)
April 23, 2008 AZ HB 2711 State Control of Mismanaged Schools Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 3)
April 23, 2008 MI HB 5221 Capital Outlay Project Bill Passed - House (59 - 45)
April 23, 2008 FL SB 2692 Science Curriculum Flexibility Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 17)
April 22, 2008 IA S 5408 Changes to School Infrastructure Sales Tax Amendment Rejected - Senate (20 - 30)
April 22, 2008 IA HF 2663 Statewide Sales Tax Increase for School Infrastructure Funding Bill Passed - Senate (39 - 11)
April 17, 2008 IL SB 2858 Public School Trans Fat Ban Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 19)
April 17, 2008 National HR 5715 Student Loan Provision Changes Bill Passed - House (383 - 27)
April 16, 2008 MO HB 1066 Teacher Certification Bill Passed - House (85 - 63)
April 15, 2008 MS SB 2149 Superintendent Removal Procedures Conference Report Adopted - Senate (38 - 14)
April 15, 2008 MS SB 2149 Superintendent Removal Procedures Conference Report Adopted - House (100 - 18)
April 14, 2008 IA SF 2216 State-Mandated Curriculum for Schools Bill Passed - House (97 - 3)
April 10, 2008 CO HB 1375 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (21 - 14)
April 10, 2008 CO HB 1375 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (39 - 23)
April 10, 2008 AZ SB 1096 English Language Education Funding Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (16 - 14)
April 10, 2008 MN HF 3569 Workers' Lung Health Study Bill Passed - House (88 - 45)
April 9, 2008 AZ SB 1096 English Language Education Funding Bill Passed - House (37 - 23)
April 9, 2008 IA HF 2663 Statewide Sales Tax Increase for School Infrastructure Funding Bill Passed - House (59 - 41)
April 8, 2008 CO HB 1001 Expanding Bioscience Research Funding Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 9)
April 7, 2008 ME LD 1932 School Consolidation Veto Override Failed - Senate (12 - 23)
April 7, 2008 ME LD 1932 School Consolidation Conference Report Adopted - Senate (21 - 14)
April 7, 2008 NE LB 1157 Uniform School Testing Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 15)
April 4, 2008 ME LD 1932 School Consolidation Conference Report Adopted - House (83 - 47)
April 4, 2008 CO SB 129 Restricting Beverage Sales at Schools Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (21 - 14)
April 3, 2008 MO SB 858 Restrictions on Undocumented Immigrants Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 7)
April 2, 2008 KY HB 406 2008-2010 Biennium Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (35 - 3)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/19 SB 861 Tuition Assistance for Students in High Poverty Areas Bill Passed - House (61 - 34)
12/18 ABx1 4 Reducing Education Appropriations Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 8)
12/15 A 3373 Amending NJ STARS/NJ STARS II Scholarship Eligibility Bill Passed - House (63 - 10)
12/15 A 3373 Amending NJ STARS/NJ STARS II Scholarship Eligibility Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 4)
12/11 HB 4141 Expanding the Use of School Sinking Funds Bill Passed - House (71 - 28)
12/10 SB 861 Tuition Assistance for Students in High Poverty Areas Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 13)
12/04 HB 5765 Reducing Pupil Count for First Class School Districts Bill Passed - House (59 - 42)
9/26 HR 7060 Renewable Energy Credits and Other Business and Individual Credits Bill Passed - House (257 - 166)
9/10 SB 873 Voting Student Curator on the University of Missouri Board of Curators Veto Override Failed - Senate (16 - 17)
8/31 SB 1301 Extending Student Financial Aid Eligibility Bill Passed - House (46 - 29)
8/13 AB 86 Cyber-Bullying Enforcement Concurrence Vote Passed - House (52 - 22)
8/11 AB 86 Cyber-Bullying Enforcement Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 12)
8/08 S 8736 School District Property Tax Cap Bill Passed - Senate (38 - 20)
8/07 AB 2567 Creation of "Harvey Milk Day" Concurrence Vote Passed - House (47 - 27)
8/05 AB 2567 Creation of "Harvey Milk Day" Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 13)
7/31 HR 4137 Higher Education Act Amendments and Extensions Conference Report Adopted - House (380 - 49)
7/31 HR 4137 Higher Education Act Amendments and Extensions Conference Report Adopted - Senate (83 - 8)
7/08 HB 2436 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (97 - 20)
7/08 HB 2436 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (32 - 14)
7/04 HB 1067 Omnibus Education Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - House (191 - 11)
7/01 SB 300 2008-2009 Budget Bill Passed - Senate (15 - 6)
7/01 SB 300 2008-2009 Budget Bill Passed - House (33 - 7)
6/30 SB 823 Private Postsecondary Education Regulation Bill Failed - House (41 - 33)
6/27 SB 5 2008-2009 Education Budget Bill Passed - Senate (12 - 9)
6/26 HB 2713 Student's Religious Liberties Act Bill Passed - Senate (16 - 10)
6/23 SB 606 'No Child Left Behind' Implementation Bill Passed - House (54 - 24)
6/23 S 1962 State Worker Retirement and Health Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 8)
6/23 S 1962 State Worker Retirement and Health Benefits Bill Passed - House (52 - 13)
6/23 A 2873 School Construction Bonds Bill Passed - House (42 - 36)
6/23 A 2873 School Construction Bonds Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 18)
6/19 HB 2436 2008-2009 Budget Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 14)
6/18 HB 734 Tuition Increase Bill Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 8)
6/11 SB 733 Supplemental Science Teaching Materials Bill Passed - House (94 - 3)
6/11 HB 1347 Vouchers Bill Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 12)
6/09 SB 606 'No Child Left Behind' Implementation Bill Failed - House (49 - 26)
6/09 HB 734 Tuition Increase Bill Bill Passed - House (84 - 18)
6/04 HB 2475 Bonds for School Computers Bill Failed - Senate (14 - 13)
6/04 SSHB 1 Education Appropriations Bill Passed - Senate (14 - 9)
5/31 SB 51 2008-2009 Education Budget Bill Passed - House (98 - 4)
5/29 H 4400 Immigration Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - House (94 - 16)
5/29 SB 51 2008-2009 Education Budget Bill Passed - Senate (32 - 1)
5/28 AB 1 Senior Health Care Line Item Veto Override Veto Override Failed - House (60 - 36)
5/28 AB 1 Senior Health Care Line Item Veto Override Veto Override Failed - House (57 - 39)
5/22 S Amdt 4803 GI Bill and Other Domestic Provisions Amendment Adopted - Senate (75 - 22)
5/22 HB 2310 Truancy, Information Sharing, and Fines Bill Passed - House (85 - 25)
5/19 AB 2567 Creation of "Harvey Milk Day" Bill Passed - House (45 - 28)
5/15 HR 2642 G.I. Bill Expansion and Other Domestic Provisions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (256 - 166)
5/15 SB 1322 Communist Party Membership Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)
5/14 HB 2557 Fine Arts and Physical Education in School Concurrence Vote Passed - House (47 - 9)
5/14 HB 1347 Vouchers Bill Bill Passed - House (60 - 42)
5/14 CACR 34 Constitutional Amendment to Define an Adequate Education Resolution Failed - House (97 - 238)
5/14 AB 1 Budget Repair Plan Conference Report Adopted - House (51 - 46)
5/13 HF 6 2008 Education Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (55 - 10)
5/13 HF 6 2008 Education Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (97 - 35)
5/13 AB 1 Budget Repair Plan Conference Report Adopted - Senate (17 - 16)
5/12 HB 2633 Religious Expression at Schools Concurrence Vote Passed - House (70 - 28)
5/12 SB 1301 Extending Student Financial Aid Eligibility Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 13)
5/08 SF 3001 Modifying State Education Policies Conference Report Adopted - House (82 - 49)
5/07 SF 3001 Modifying State Education Policies Conference Report Adopted - Senate (45 - 20)
5/07 SB 539 Education Funding Amendments Bill Passed - House (184 - 141)
5/07 SB 57 Disability Scholarship Fund Bill Passed - Senate (17 - 15)
5/06 HB 1388 Increasing Education Funding Conference Report Adopted - House (58 - 5)
5/06 HB 1388 Increasing Education Funding Conference Report Adopted - Senate (22 - 13)
5/05 HB 2003 2008-2009 Department of Higher Education Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (88 - 63)
5/05 HB 2002 2008-2009 Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (88 - 62)
5/01 SF 2369 Background Checks for Coaches Conference Report Adopted - House (112 - 15)
5/01 HR 5715 Student Loan Provision Changes Concurrence Vote Passed - House (388 - 21)
5/01 HB 787 State Employees in Public Office Bill Passed - House (57 - 36)
5/01 HB 1357 Changing student testing requirements Bill Passed - House (35 - 29)
4/29 HB 2557 Fine Arts and Physical Education in School Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 4)
4/29 HB 674 Anti-Bullying Bill Bill Failed - House (28 - 63)
4/28 Walker Amdt to SF 3001 Sex Education in Schools Amendment Adopted - House (79 - 53)
4/28 SB 2692 Teaching Evolution in Public Schools Bill Passed - House (71 - 43)
4/24 HB 2711 State Control of Mismanaged Schools Concurrence Vote Passed - House (44 - 6)
4/24 HB 2059 Establishes the Professional Relationships Between Teachers and School Districts Act. Bill Passed - House (83 - 67)
4/23 HB 2711 State Control of Mismanaged Schools Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 3)
4/23 HB 5221 Capital Outlay Project Bill Passed - House (59 - 45)
4/23 SB 2692 Science Curriculum Flexibility Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 17)
4/22 S 5408 Changes to School Infrastructure Sales Tax Amendment Rejected - Senate (20 - 30)
4/22 HF 2663 Statewide Sales Tax Increase for School Infrastructure Funding Bill Passed - Senate (39 - 11)
4/17 SB 2858 Public School Trans Fat Ban Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 19)
4/17 HR 5715 Student Loan Provision Changes Bill Passed - House (383 - 27)
4/16 HB 1066 Teacher Certification Bill Passed - House (85 - 63)
4/15 SB 2149 Superintendent Removal Procedures Conference Report Adopted - Senate (38 - 14)
4/15 SB 2149 Superintendent Removal Procedures Conference Report Adopted - House (100 - 18)
4/14 SF 2216 State-Mandated Curriculum for Schools Bill Passed - House (97 - 3)
4/10 HB 1375 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (21 - 14)
4/10 HB 1375 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (39 - 23)
4/10 SB 1096 English Language Education Funding Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (16 - 14)
4/10 HF 3569 Workers' Lung Health Study Bill Passed - House (88 - 45)
4/09 SB 1096 English Language Education Funding Bill Passed - House (37 - 23)
4/09 HF 2663 Statewide Sales Tax Increase for School Infrastructure Funding Bill Passed - House (59 - 41)
4/08 HB 1001 Expanding Bioscience Research Funding Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 9)
4/07 LD 1932 School Consolidation Veto Override Failed - Senate (12 - 23)
4/07 LD 1932 School Consolidation Conference Report Adopted - Senate (21 - 14)
4/07 LB 1157 Uniform School Testing Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 15)
4/04 LD 1932 School Consolidation Conference Report Adopted - House (83 - 47)
4/04 SB 129 Restricting Beverage Sales at Schools Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (21 - 14)
4/03 SB 858 Restrictions on Undocumented Immigrants Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 7)
4/02 HB 406 2008-2010 Biennium Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (35 - 3)

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