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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. 19, 2008 MI SB 861 Tuition Assistance for Students in High Poverty Areas Bill Passed - House (61 - 34)
Dec. 18, 2008 CA ABx1 12 Extending Tax Withholding Requirements to Payments to Independent Contractors Concurrence Vote Passed - House (47 - 28)
Dec. 18, 2008 CA ABx1 12 Extending Tax Withholding Requirements to Payments to Independent Contractors Concurrence Vote Passed - House (47 - 28)
Dec. 18, 2008 CA ABx1 8 Amending Sentencing, Parole, and Property Crime Statutes Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
Dec. 18, 2008 CA ABx1 5 Modifying Transportation Project Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 10)
Dec. 18, 2008 CA ABx1 4 Reducing Education Appropriations Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 8)
Dec. 18, 2008 CA ABx1 2 Tax Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
Dec. 18, 2008 OH HB 649 Funding Veterans' Bonuses Using the Budget Stabilization Fund Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 8)
Dec. 16, 2008 OH SB 380 Election Law Amendments Bill Passed - House (55 - 43)
Dec. 16, 2008 OH HB 649 Funding Veterans' Bonuses Using the Budget Stabilization Fund Bill Passed - House (54 - 42)
Dec. 15, 2008 NJ S 1599 Mortgage and Housing Assistance Programs Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (27 - 8)
Dec. 15, 2008 NJ S 1599 Mortgage and Housing Assistance Programs Bill Passed - House (49 - 28)
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 6610 Presidential Election by Popular Vote Bill Passed - House (65 - 36)
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. 10, 2008 OH HB 648 Increasing Restrictions on Access to Confidential Personal Information Bill Passed - House (69 - 26)
Dec. 10, 2008 OH HB 648 Increasing Restrictions on Access to Confidential Personal Information Bill Passed - House (69 - 26)
Dec. 10, 2008 OH HB 648 Increasing Restrictions on Access to Confidential Personal Information Bill Passed - House (69 - 26)
Dec. 9, 2008 OH SB 380 Election Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 11)
Dec. 4, 2008 MI HB 4090 Expanding Early Voting Bill Passed - House (58 - 50)
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)
Dec. 4, 2008 MI HB 4090 Expanding Early Voting Bill Passed - House (58 - 50)
Nov. 24, 2008 NJ A 3459 Foreclosure Assistance Appropriations Bill Passed - Senate (30 - 9)
Nov. 24, 2008 NJ A 3294 Capital Investment and Employment Grants Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 7)
Nov. 18, 2008 NE Amdt 4 Establishing an Age Limit on Safe Haven Law Amendment Rejected - Senate (23 - 26)
Nov. 18, 2008 NE Amdt 4 Establishing an Age Limit on Safe Haven Law Amendment Rejected - Senate (23 - 26)
Nov. 17, 2008 NJ A 3374 Public Assistance Appropriations Bill Passed - House (67 - 10)
Nov. 17, 2008 NJ A 3459 Foreclosure Assistance Appropriations Bill Passed - House (47 - 26)
Nov. 17, 2008 NJ A 3294 Capital Investment and Employment Grants Bill Passed - House (56 - 22)
Oct. 21, 2008 SC H Amdt 11 to H 5300 Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. Funding Amendment Tabled - House (66 - 50)
Oct. 21, 2008 SC H Amdt 20 to H 5300 Repealing Property Tax Exemption Amendment Tabled - House (98 - 17)
Sept. 19, 2008 CA SBx1 28 Tax Law Amendments Bill Passed - House (43 - 30)
Sept. 19, 2008 CA SBx1 28 Tax Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 14)
Sept. 16, 2008 CA AB 1781 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (29 - 11)
Sept. 16, 2008 CA AB 1781 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (61 - 11)
Sept. 16, 2008 CA AB 1452 Suspending Carryback and Net Operating Loss Deductions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (55 - 21)
Sept. 16, 2008 CA AB 1452 Suspending Carryback and Net Operating Loss Deductions Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 13)
Sept. 16, 2008 CA SCA 12 State Lottery Amendments Joint Resolution Passed - House (63 - 14)
Sept. 16, 2008 CA SCA 12 State Lottery Amendments Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (27 - 9)
Sept. 9, 2008 CA SB 1087 2008-2009 Budget Amendments Bill Failed - House (27 - 45)
Sept. 8, 2008 CA AB 1793 2008-2009 Budget Amendments Bill Failed - Senate (13 - 21)
Aug. 31, 2008 CA AB 2321 Metro Sales Tax Increase Concurrence Vote Passed - House (49 - 25)
Aug. 31, 2008 CA SB 1407 Financing Courthouse Construction Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (26 - 10)
Aug. 31, 2008 CA SB 1301 Extending Student Financial Aid Eligibility Bill Passed - House (46 - 29)
Aug. 30, 2008 CA AB 583 Public Financing of Elections Concurrence Vote Passed - House (42 - 32)
Aug. 30, 2008 CA AB 583 Public Financing of Elections Concurrence Vote Passed - House (42 - 32)
Aug. 29, 2008 CA AB 1781 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Rejected - Senate (24 - 15)
Aug. 29, 2008 CA AB 1107 Drought-Related Unemployment Benefits Concurrence Vote Passed - House (60 - 18)
Aug. 29, 2008 CA AB 583 Public Financing of Elections Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 18)
Aug. 29, 2008 CA AB 583 Public Financing of Elections Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 18)
Aug. 29, 2008 CA SB 1407 Financing Courthouse Construction Bill Passed - House (45 - 20)
Aug. 29, 2008 CA AB 2321 Metro Sales Tax Increase Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 13)
Aug. 19, 2008 IL HB 4201 Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans Concurrence Vote Failed - Senate (27 - 11)
Aug. 19, 2008 NM SB 24 Tax Rebate Bill Passed - House (51 - 16)
Aug. 19, 2008 NY S 8738 State Spending Cap Amendment Adopted - Senate (38 - 20)
Aug. 19, 2008 NM HB 4 Working Families Tax Credit Increase Bill Passed - Senate (35 - 2)
Aug. 19, 2008 NY A 11838 Tax Law Amendments Bill Passed - House (118 - 24)
Aug. 18, 2008 NM SB 22 Subsidizing Children's Health Care Bill Passed - House (47 - 19)
Aug. 18, 2008 NM HB 5 Electronic Medical Records Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 7)
Aug. 18, 2008 NM SB 24 Tax Rebate Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 2)
Aug. 17, 2008 CA AB 1781 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Rejected - House (45 - 30)
Aug. 17, 2008 NM HB 5 Electronic Medical Records Bill Passed - House (35 - 29)
Aug. 16, 2008 NM HB 4 Working Families Tax Credit Increase Bill Passed - House (39 - 25)
Aug. 14, 2008 CA AB 1107 Drought-Related Unemployment Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 10)
Aug. 13, 2008 IL HB 4201 Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans Concurrence Vote Passed - House (78 - 12)
Aug. 13, 2008 CA AB 3034 High-Speed Rail Bond Amendments Concurrence Vote Passed - House (58 - 15)
Aug. 12, 2008 CA AB 1946 Expanding Enforcement of Water Pollution Laws Concurrence Vote Passed - House (48 - 29)
Aug. 12, 2008 CA SB 1589 Uncorroborated Jailhouse Informant Testimony Ban Bill Passed - House (41 - 37)
Aug. 8, 2008 NY A 11258 Mandatory Cigarette Taxation Bill Passed - Senate (54 - 4)
Aug. 8, 2008 NY S 8736 School District Property Tax Cap Bill Passed - Senate (38 - 20)
Aug. 8, 2008 NY A 11258 Mandatory Cigarette Taxation Bill Passed - Senate (54 - 4)
Aug. 7, 2008 AK SB 4002 Energy Rebate Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (11 - 5)
Aug. 7, 2008 CA AB 1946 Expanding Enforcement of Water Pollution Laws Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 16)
Aug. 7, 2008 AK SB 4002 Energy Rebate Bill Bill Passed - House (33 - 5)
Aug. 7, 2008 CA AB 3034 High-Speed Rail Bond Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 10)
Aug. 7, 2008 CA AB 2654 Expanding Anti-Discrimination Laws Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
Aug. 6, 2008 AK SB 4002 Energy Rebate Bill Bill Passed - House (30 - 7)
Aug. 5, 2008 CA SB 974 Shipping Fee Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (22 - 10)
Aug. 5, 2008 CA AB 2001 Whistleblower Hotline Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 8)
Aug. 5, 2008 CA AB 2001 Whistleblower Hotline Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 8)
Aug. 4, 2008 AK SB 4002 Energy Rebate Bill Bill Passed - Senate (14 - 3)
Aug. 1, 2008 AK HB 3001 Natural Gas Pipeline to Canada Bill Passed - Senate (14 - 5)
July 29, 2008 MA S 2807 Election Day Voter Registration Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 5)
July 29, 2008 MA SB 800 Repealing Out of State Marriage Restrictions Bill Passed - House (119 - 36)
July 29, 2008 MA S 2807 Election Day Voter Registration Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 5)
July 26, 2008 National HR 3221 Housing Bill with Energy Tax Credit Extensions Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (72 - 13)
July 23, 2008 National HR 3221 Housing Bill with Energy Tax Credit Extensions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (272 - 152)
July 22, 2008 AK HB 3001 Natural Gas Pipeline to Canada Bill Passed - House (24 - 16)
July 17, 2008 NC HB 2690 Durham County Meals Tax Bill Passed - Senate (41 - 22)
July 17, 2008 NC HB 2690 Durham County Meals Tax Bill Passed - Senate (41 - 22)
July 16, 2008 National HR 415 Adding Parts of the Taunton River to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System Bill Passed - House (242 - 175)
July 15, 2008 CA SB 974 Shipping Fee Bill Passed - House (46 - 24)
July 15, 2008 National HR 5803 Backup Paper Ballots Bill Failed - House (248 - 170)
July 9, 2008 VA SB 6009 Transportation Taxes Bill Failed - House (39 - 59)
July 9, 2008 MA H 678 National Popular Vote Plan Bill Passed - House (116 - 37)
July 9, 2008 MA Jones Amdt - Presidential Electors by Congressional District Bill Failed - House (34 - 120)
July 9, 2008 MA Frost Amdt - National Popular Vote Plan Ratification Threshold Bill Failed - House (34 - 120)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/19 SB 861 Tuition Assistance for Students in High Poverty Areas Bill Passed - House (61 - 34)
12/18 ABx1 12 Extending Tax Withholding Requirements to Payments to Independent Contractors Concurrence Vote Passed - House (47 - 28)
12/18 ABx1 12 Extending Tax Withholding Requirements to Payments to Independent Contractors Concurrence Vote Passed - House (47 - 28)
12/18 ABx1 8 Amending Sentencing, Parole, and Property Crime Statutes Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
12/18 ABx1 5 Modifying Transportation Project Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 10)
12/18 ABx1 4 Reducing Education Appropriations Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 8)
12/18 ABx1 2 Tax Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
12/18 HB 649 Funding Veterans' Bonuses Using the Budget Stabilization Fund Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 8)
12/16 SB 380 Election Law Amendments Bill Passed - House (55 - 43)
12/16 HB 649 Funding Veterans' Bonuses Using the Budget Stabilization Fund Bill Passed - House (54 - 42)
12/15 S 1599 Mortgage and Housing Assistance Programs Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (27 - 8)
12/15 S 1599 Mortgage and Housing Assistance Programs Bill Passed - House (49 - 28)
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 6610 Presidential Election by Popular Vote Bill Passed - House (65 - 36)
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)
12/10 HB 648 Increasing Restrictions on Access to Confidential Personal Information Bill Passed - House (69 - 26)
12/10 HB 648 Increasing Restrictions on Access to Confidential Personal Information Bill Passed - House (69 - 26)
12/10 HB 648 Increasing Restrictions on Access to Confidential Personal Information Bill Passed - House (69 - 26)
12/09 SB 380 Election Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 11)
12/04 HB 4090 Expanding Early Voting Bill Passed - House (58 - 50)
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)
12/04 HB 4090 Expanding Early Voting Bill Passed - House (58 - 50)
11/24 A 3459 Foreclosure Assistance Appropriations Bill Passed - Senate (30 - 9)
11/24 A 3294 Capital Investment and Employment Grants Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 7)
11/18 Amdt 4 Establishing an Age Limit on Safe Haven Law Amendment Rejected - Senate (23 - 26)
11/18 Amdt 4 Establishing an Age Limit on Safe Haven Law Amendment Rejected - Senate (23 - 26)
11/17 A 3374 Public Assistance Appropriations Bill Passed - House (67 - 10)
11/17 A 3459 Foreclosure Assistance Appropriations Bill Passed - House (47 - 26)
11/17 A 3294 Capital Investment and Employment Grants Bill Passed - House (56 - 22)
10/21 H Amdt 11 to H 5300 Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. Funding Amendment Tabled - House (66 - 50)
10/21 H Amdt 20 to H 5300 Repealing Property Tax Exemption Amendment Tabled - House (98 - 17)
9/19 SBx1 28 Tax Law Amendments Bill Passed - House (43 - 30)
9/19 SBx1 28 Tax Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 14)
9/16 AB 1781 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (29 - 11)
9/16 AB 1781 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (61 - 11)
9/16 AB 1452 Suspending Carryback and Net Operating Loss Deductions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (55 - 21)
9/16 AB 1452 Suspending Carryback and Net Operating Loss Deductions Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 13)
9/16 SCA 12 State Lottery Amendments Joint Resolution Passed - House (63 - 14)
9/16 SCA 12 State Lottery Amendments Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (27 - 9)
9/09 SB 1087 2008-2009 Budget Amendments Bill Failed - House (27 - 45)
9/08 AB 1793 2008-2009 Budget Amendments Bill Failed - Senate (13 - 21)
8/31 AB 2321 Metro Sales Tax Increase Concurrence Vote Passed - House (49 - 25)
8/31 SB 1407 Financing Courthouse Construction Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (26 - 10)
8/31 SB 1301 Extending Student Financial Aid Eligibility Bill Passed - House (46 - 29)
8/30 AB 583 Public Financing of Elections Concurrence Vote Passed - House (42 - 32)
8/30 AB 583 Public Financing of Elections Concurrence Vote Passed - House (42 - 32)
8/29 AB 1781 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Rejected - Senate (24 - 15)
8/29 AB 1107 Drought-Related Unemployment Benefits Concurrence Vote Passed - House (60 - 18)
8/29 AB 583 Public Financing of Elections Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 18)
8/29 AB 583 Public Financing of Elections Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 18)
8/29 SB 1407 Financing Courthouse Construction Bill Passed - House (45 - 20)
8/29 AB 2321 Metro Sales Tax Increase Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 13)
8/19 HB 4201 Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans Concurrence Vote Failed - Senate (27 - 11)
8/19 SB 24 Tax Rebate Bill Passed - House (51 - 16)
8/19 S 8738 State Spending Cap Amendment Adopted - Senate (38 - 20)
8/19 HB 4 Working Families Tax Credit Increase Bill Passed - Senate (35 - 2)
8/19 A 11838 Tax Law Amendments Bill Passed - House (118 - 24)
8/18 SB 22 Subsidizing Children's Health Care Bill Passed - House (47 - 19)
8/18 HB 5 Electronic Medical Records Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 7)
8/18 SB 24 Tax Rebate Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 2)
8/17 AB 1781 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Rejected - House (45 - 30)
8/17 HB 5 Electronic Medical Records Bill Passed - House (35 - 29)
8/16 HB 4 Working Families Tax Credit Increase Bill Passed - House (39 - 25)
8/14 AB 1107 Drought-Related Unemployment Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 10)
8/13 HB 4201 Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans Concurrence Vote Passed - House (78 - 12)
8/13 AB 3034 High-Speed Rail Bond Amendments Concurrence Vote Passed - House (58 - 15)
8/12 AB 1946 Expanding Enforcement of Water Pollution Laws Concurrence Vote Passed - House (48 - 29)
8/12 SB 1589 Uncorroborated Jailhouse Informant Testimony Ban Bill Passed - House (41 - 37)
8/08 A 11258 Mandatory Cigarette Taxation Bill Passed - Senate (54 - 4)
8/08 S 8736 School District Property Tax Cap Bill Passed - Senate (38 - 20)
8/08 A 11258 Mandatory Cigarette Taxation Bill Passed - Senate (54 - 4)
8/07 SB 4002 Energy Rebate Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (11 - 5)
8/07 AB 1946 Expanding Enforcement of Water Pollution Laws Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 16)
8/07 SB 4002 Energy Rebate Bill Bill Passed - House (33 - 5)
8/07 AB 3034 High-Speed Rail Bond Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 10)
8/07 AB 2654 Expanding Anti-Discrimination Laws Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
8/06 SB 4002 Energy Rebate Bill Bill Passed - House (30 - 7)
8/05 SB 974 Shipping Fee Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (22 - 10)
8/05 AB 2001 Whistleblower Hotline Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 8)
8/05 AB 2001 Whistleblower Hotline Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 8)
8/04 SB 4002 Energy Rebate Bill Bill Passed - Senate (14 - 3)
8/01 HB 3001 Natural Gas Pipeline to Canada Bill Passed - Senate (14 - 5)
7/29 S 2807 Election Day Voter Registration Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 5)
7/29 SB 800 Repealing Out of State Marriage Restrictions Bill Passed - House (119 - 36)
7/29 S 2807 Election Day Voter Registration Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 5)
7/26 HR 3221 Housing Bill with Energy Tax Credit Extensions Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (72 - 13)
7/23 HR 3221 Housing Bill with Energy Tax Credit Extensions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (272 - 152)
7/22 HB 3001 Natural Gas Pipeline to Canada Bill Passed - House (24 - 16)
7/17 HB 2690 Durham County Meals Tax Bill Passed - Senate (41 - 22)
7/17 HB 2690 Durham County Meals Tax Bill Passed - Senate (41 - 22)
7/16 HR 415 Adding Parts of the Taunton River to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System Bill Passed - House (242 - 175)
7/15 SB 974 Shipping Fee Bill Passed - House (46 - 24)
7/15 HR 5803 Backup Paper Ballots Bill Failed - House (248 - 170)
7/09 SB 6009 Transportation Taxes Bill Failed - House (39 - 59)
7/09 H 678 National Popular Vote Plan Bill Passed - House (116 - 37)
7/09 Jones Amdt - Presidential Electors by Congressional District Bill Failed - House (34 - 120)
7/09 Frost Amdt - National Popular Vote Plan Ratification Threshold Bill Failed - House (34 - 120)

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