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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. 18, 2008 CA ABx1 5 Modifying Transportation Project Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 10)
Nov. 21, 2008 NE LB 1 Establishing an Age Limit on Safe Haven Law Bill Passed - Senate (43 - 5)
Nov. 18, 2008 NE Amdt 4 Establishing an Age Limit on Safe Haven Law Amendment Rejected - Senate (23 - 26)
Oct. 27, 2008 NJ A 2550 Renewable Energy Facilities Within Industrial Districts Bill Passed - House (60 - 15)
Oct. 21, 2008 SC H Amdt 11 to H 5300 Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. Funding Amendment Tabled - House (66 - 50)
Sept. 18, 2008 MI SB 213 Renewable Electricity Standards Conference Report Adopted - House (83 - 24)
Sept. 18, 2008 MI HB 5524 Energy Utility Regulations Conference Report Adopted - House (78 - 29)
Sept. 18, 2008 MI SB 213 Renewable Electricity Standards Conference Report Adopted - Senate (26 - 10)
Sept. 18, 2008 MI HB 5524 Energy Utility Regulations Conference Report Adopted - Senate (25 - 11)
Aug. 31, 2008 CA AB 1945 Health Insurance Cancellation Restrictions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (55 - 17)
Aug. 31, 2008 CA SB 840 California Universal Healthcare Agency Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (22 - 14)
Aug. 31, 2008 CA SB 1420 Nutritional Information Disclosure in Chain Restaurants Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (24 - 13)
Aug. 31, 2008 CA AB 1945 Health Insurance Cancellation Restrictions Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 14)
Aug. 30, 2008 CA SB 375 Global Warming and Land Use Policy Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (25 - 14)
Aug. 29, 2008 CA SB 840 California Universal Healthcare Agency Bill Passed - House (44 - 32)
Aug. 28, 2008 CA AB 2765 Aerial Spraying Regulations Concurrence Vote Passed - House (59 - 14)
Aug. 27, 2008 CA SB 1313 Perfluorochemical (PFC) Ban Bill Passed - House (43 - 30)
Aug. 27, 2008 CA SB 1420 Nutritional Information Disclosure in Chain Restaurants Bill Passed - House (46 - 28)
Aug. 25, 2008 CA AB 1879 Regulating Chemicals in Consumer Products Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 13)
Aug. 25, 2008 CA SB 375 Global Warming and Land Use Policy Bill Passed - House (49 - 22)
Aug. 22, 2008 CA AB 2765 Aerial Spraying Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 12)
Aug. 22, 2008 CA AB 3025 Polystyrene Packaging Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 17)
Aug. 20, 2008 CA AB 2279 Prohibiting Employment Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Patients Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 15)
Aug. 20, 2008 CA AB 2747 Disclosing End-of-Life Care Options Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 17)
Aug. 20, 2008 CA AB 2279 Prohibiting Employment Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Patients Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 15)
Aug. 19, 2008 IL HB 5285 Extending Parental Health Insurance to Unmarried Dependents Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (35 - 17)
Aug. 19, 2008 CA AB 1894 Health Insurance Coverage of HIV Testing Concurrence Vote Passed - House (47 - 29)
Aug. 19, 2008 CA SB 1440 Capping Administrative Spending for Health Insurers Bill Passed - House (46 - 31)
Aug. 18, 2008 CA SB 1713 Bisphenol A (BPA) Ban Bill Failed - House (33 - 32)
Aug. 18, 2008 NM HB 5 Electronic Medical Records Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 7)
Aug. 18, 2008 NM SB 22 Subsidizing Children's Health Care Bill Passed - House (47 - 19)
Aug. 18, 2008 CA SB 1313 Perfluorochemical (PFC) Ban Bill Failed - House (37 - 34)
Aug. 17, 2008 NM HB 5 Electronic Medical Records Bill Passed - House (35 - 29)
Aug. 14, 2008 CA AB 1894 Health Insurance Coverage of HIV Testing Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 15)
Aug. 13, 2008 IL HB 5285 Extending Parental Health Insurance to Unmarried Dependents Concurrence Vote Passed - House (70 - 21)
Aug. 12, 2008 CA AB 1946 Expanding Enforcement of Water Pollution Laws Concurrence Vote Passed - House (48 - 29)
Aug. 12, 2008 CA AB 2270 Water Softener Regulations Concurrence Vote Passed - House (53 - 19)
Aug. 7, 2008 CA AB 1946 Expanding Enforcement of Water Pollution Laws Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 16)
Aug. 7, 2008 CA AB 2270 Water Softener Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 12)
Aug. 5, 2008 CA SB 974 Shipping Fee Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (22 - 10)
July 30, 2008 National HR 1108 FDA Regulation of Tobacco Bill Passed - House (326 - 102)
July 24, 2008 National HR 5501 Funding to Combat AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis Concurrence Vote Passed - House (303 - 115)
July 24, 2008 National HR 5501 Funding to Combat AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis Concurrence Vote Passed - House (303 - 115)
July 18, 2008 NC HB 2499 Water Management During Droughts Concurrence Vote Passed - House (68 - 36)
July 17, 2008 NC HB 2499 Water Management During Droughts Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 9)
July 16, 2008 National S Amdt 5077 Funding Amendment to AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Bill Amendment Rejected - Senate (31 - 64)
July 16, 2008 National HR 5501 Funding to Combat AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis Bill Passed - Senate (80 - 16)
July 16, 2008 National HR 5501 Funding to Combat AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis Bill Passed - Senate (80 - 16)
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 National HR 6331 Medicare Bill Veto Override Passed - Senate (70 - 26)
July 15, 2008 National HR 6331 Medicare Bill Veto Override Passed - House (383 - 41)
July 15, 2008 National HR 6331 Medicare Bill Veto Override Passed - House (383 - 41)
July 15, 2008 National HR 6331 Medicare Bill Veto Override Passed - Senate (70 - 26)
July 15, 2008 National S Amdt 5078 Limiting Countries for HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Funding Amendment Tabled - Senate (70 - 24)
July 15, 2008 NC HB 2499 Water Management During Droughts Bill Passed - House (92 - 20)
July 14, 2008 CA AB 97 Trans Fats Ban Concurrence Vote Passed - House (47 - 28)
July 14, 2008 CA AB 1155 Penalties for Healthcare Service Plan Underpayments or Failures to Pay Service Providers Concurrence Vote Passed - House (47 - 26)
July 10, 2008 NC HB 822 Swine Farm Rebuilding Bill Passed - Senate (40 - 8)
July 9, 2008 National HR 6331 Medicare Bill Cloture Invoked - Senate (69 - 30)
July 9, 2008 National HR 6331 Medicare Bill Cloture Invoked - Senate (69 - 30)
July 2, 2008 CA AB 97 Trans Fats Ban Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 16)
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 MI SB 1094 2008-2009 Department of Community Health Appropriations Conference Report Adopted - House (75 - 30)
June 26, 2008 National HR 2642 Iraq and Afghanistan War Funding, Unemployment Benefits Extension, and GI Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (92 - 6)
June 25, 2008 AZ HB 2156 Reviews for Potential Railroad Sites Concurrence Vote Passed - House (40 - 12)
June 24, 2008 National HR 6331 Medicare Bill Bill Passed - House (355 - 59)
June 24, 2008 National HR 6331 Medicare Bill Bill Passed - House (355 - 59)
June 23, 2008 AZ SB 1167 Off-Highway Vehicle Regulations Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (16 - 7)
June 23, 2008 AZ SB 1476 Reducing Probation for Good Behavior Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (20 - 4)
June 23, 2008 AZ HB 2156 Reviews for Potential Railroad Sites Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 6)
June 23, 2008 NJ S 1557 FamilyCare Expansion bill Bill Passed - House (59 - 18)
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 18, 2008 National HR 6124 Second Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007 (Farm Bill) Veto Override Passed - House (317 - 109)
June 18, 2008 National HR 6124 Second Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007 (Farm Bill) Veto Override Passed - Senate (80 - 14)
June 18, 2008 AZ SB 1048 Prohibiting Partial-Birth/Late-Term Abortion Conference Report Adopted - House (19 - 7)
June 17, 2008 NC SB 1686 Restrictions on Public Smoking Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 15)
June 16, 2008 AZ SB 1048 Prohibiting Partial-Birth/Late-Term Abortion Conference Report Adopted - Senate (18 - 6)
June 11, 2008 LA SB 144 Castration of Sex Offenders Bill Passed - House (69 - 15)
June 11, 2008 DE SB 263 Greenhouse Gas Caps Bill Passed - Senate (15 - 5)
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 6, 2008 National S Amdt 4825 Carbon Emissions Cap and Trade Plan Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (48 - 36)
June 5, 2008 MI SB 1094 2008-2009 Department of Community Health Budget Bill Passed - House (60 - 47)
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)
June 4, 2008 MI HB 5068 Great Lakes Water Management Bill Passed - House (56 - 52)
May 29, 2008 CA AB 2572 Nutritional Disclosure Bill Bill Passed - House (46 - 15)
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 MS HB 17 Medicaid Funds Bill Bill Failed - House (55 - 53)
May 28, 2008 CA AB 2747 Disclosing End-of-Life Care Options Bill Passed - House (42 - 34)
May 28, 2008 CA AB 2279 Prohibiting Employment Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Patients Bill Passed - House (41 - 35)
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 MS SB 2013 Hospital Tax for Medicaid Funding Bill Passed - Senate (41 - 7)
May 28, 2008 CA AB 1991 Development on Half Moon Bay Bill Passed - House (46 - 18)
May 28, 2008 CA AB 2716 Paid Sick Leave Bill Passed - House (45 - 33)
May 28, 2008 CA AB 2058 Paper and Plastic Bag Tax Bill Passed - House (44 - 33)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/18 ABx1 5 Modifying Transportation Project Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 10)
11/21 LB 1 Establishing an Age Limit on Safe Haven Law Bill Passed - Senate (43 - 5)
11/18 Amdt 4 Establishing an Age Limit on Safe Haven Law Amendment Rejected - Senate (23 - 26)
10/27 A 2550 Renewable Energy Facilities Within Industrial Districts Bill Passed - House (60 - 15)
10/21 H Amdt 11 to H 5300 Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. Funding Amendment Tabled - House (66 - 50)
9/18 SB 213 Renewable Electricity Standards Conference Report Adopted - House (83 - 24)
9/18 HB 5524 Energy Utility Regulations Conference Report Adopted - House (78 - 29)
9/18 SB 213 Renewable Electricity Standards Conference Report Adopted - Senate (26 - 10)
9/18 HB 5524 Energy Utility Regulations Conference Report Adopted - Senate (25 - 11)
8/31 AB 1945 Health Insurance Cancellation Restrictions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (55 - 17)
8/31 SB 840 California Universal Healthcare Agency Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (22 - 14)
8/31 SB 1420 Nutritional Information Disclosure in Chain Restaurants Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (24 - 13)
8/31 AB 1945 Health Insurance Cancellation Restrictions Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 14)
8/30 SB 375 Global Warming and Land Use Policy Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (25 - 14)
8/29 SB 840 California Universal Healthcare Agency Bill Passed - House (44 - 32)
8/28 AB 2765 Aerial Spraying Regulations Concurrence Vote Passed - House (59 - 14)
8/27 SB 1313 Perfluorochemical (PFC) Ban Bill Passed - House (43 - 30)
8/27 SB 1420 Nutritional Information Disclosure in Chain Restaurants Bill Passed - House (46 - 28)
8/25 AB 1879 Regulating Chemicals in Consumer Products Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 13)
8/25 SB 375 Global Warming and Land Use Policy Bill Passed - House (49 - 22)
8/22 AB 2765 Aerial Spraying Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 12)
8/22 AB 3025 Polystyrene Packaging Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 17)
8/20 AB 2279 Prohibiting Employment Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Patients Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 15)
8/20 AB 2747 Disclosing End-of-Life Care Options Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 17)
8/20 AB 2279 Prohibiting Employment Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Patients Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 15)
8/19 HB 5285 Extending Parental Health Insurance to Unmarried Dependents Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (35 - 17)
8/19 AB 1894 Health Insurance Coverage of HIV Testing Concurrence Vote Passed - House (47 - 29)
8/19 SB 1440 Capping Administrative Spending for Health Insurers Bill Passed - House (46 - 31)
8/18 SB 1713 Bisphenol A (BPA) Ban Bill Failed - House (33 - 32)
8/18 HB 5 Electronic Medical Records Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 7)
8/18 SB 22 Subsidizing Children's Health Care Bill Passed - House (47 - 19)
8/18 SB 1313 Perfluorochemical (PFC) Ban Bill Failed - House (37 - 34)
8/17 HB 5 Electronic Medical Records Bill Passed - House (35 - 29)
8/14 AB 1894 Health Insurance Coverage of HIV Testing Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 15)
8/13 HB 5285 Extending Parental Health Insurance to Unmarried Dependents Concurrence Vote Passed - House (70 - 21)
8/12 AB 1946 Expanding Enforcement of Water Pollution Laws Concurrence Vote Passed - House (48 - 29)
8/12 AB 2270 Water Softener Regulations Concurrence Vote Passed - House (53 - 19)
8/07 AB 1946 Expanding Enforcement of Water Pollution Laws Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 16)
8/07 AB 2270 Water Softener Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 12)
8/05 SB 974 Shipping Fee Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (22 - 10)
7/30 HR 1108 FDA Regulation of Tobacco Bill Passed - House (326 - 102)
7/24 HR 5501 Funding to Combat AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis Concurrence Vote Passed - House (303 - 115)
7/24 HR 5501 Funding to Combat AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis Concurrence Vote Passed - House (303 - 115)
7/18 HB 2499 Water Management During Droughts Concurrence Vote Passed - House (68 - 36)
7/17 HB 2499 Water Management During Droughts Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 9)
7/16 S Amdt 5077 Funding Amendment to AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Bill Amendment Rejected - Senate (31 - 64)
7/16 HR 5501 Funding to Combat AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis Bill Passed - Senate (80 - 16)
7/16 HR 5501 Funding to Combat AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis Bill Passed - Senate (80 - 16)
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 HR 6331 Medicare Bill Veto Override Passed - Senate (70 - 26)
7/15 HR 6331 Medicare Bill Veto Override Passed - House (383 - 41)
7/15 HR 6331 Medicare Bill Veto Override Passed - House (383 - 41)
7/15 HR 6331 Medicare Bill Veto Override Passed - Senate (70 - 26)
7/15 S Amdt 5078 Limiting Countries for HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Funding Amendment Tabled - Senate (70 - 24)
7/15 HB 2499 Water Management During Droughts Bill Passed - House (92 - 20)
7/14 AB 97 Trans Fats Ban Concurrence Vote Passed - House (47 - 28)
7/14 AB 1155 Penalties for Healthcare Service Plan Underpayments or Failures to Pay Service Providers Concurrence Vote Passed - House (47 - 26)
7/10 HB 822 Swine Farm Rebuilding Bill Passed - Senate (40 - 8)
7/09 HR 6331 Medicare Bill Cloture Invoked - Senate (69 - 30)
7/09 HR 6331 Medicare Bill Cloture Invoked - Senate (69 - 30)
7/02 AB 97 Trans Fats Ban Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 16)
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 SB 1094 2008-2009 Department of Community Health Appropriations Conference Report Adopted - House (75 - 30)
6/26 HR 2642 Iraq and Afghanistan War Funding, Unemployment Benefits Extension, and GI Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (92 - 6)
6/25 HB 2156 Reviews for Potential Railroad Sites Concurrence Vote Passed - House (40 - 12)
6/24 HR 6331 Medicare Bill Bill Passed - House (355 - 59)
6/24 HR 6331 Medicare Bill Bill Passed - House (355 - 59)
6/23 SB 1167 Off-Highway Vehicle Regulations Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (16 - 7)
6/23 SB 1476 Reducing Probation for Good Behavior Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (20 - 4)
6/23 HB 2156 Reviews for Potential Railroad Sites Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 6)
6/23 S 1557 FamilyCare Expansion bill Bill Passed - House (59 - 18)
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)
6/18 HR 6124 Second Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007 (Farm Bill) Veto Override Passed - House (317 - 109)
6/18 HR 6124 Second Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007 (Farm Bill) Veto Override Passed - Senate (80 - 14)
6/18 SB 1048 Prohibiting Partial-Birth/Late-Term Abortion Conference Report Adopted - House (19 - 7)
6/17 SB 1686 Restrictions on Public Smoking Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 15)
6/16 SB 1048 Prohibiting Partial-Birth/Late-Term Abortion Conference Report Adopted - Senate (18 - 6)
6/11 SB 144 Castration of Sex Offenders Bill Passed - House (69 - 15)
6/11 SB 263 Greenhouse Gas Caps Bill Passed - Senate (15 - 5)
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)
6/06 S Amdt 4825 Carbon Emissions Cap and Trade Plan Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (48 - 36)
6/05 SB 1094 2008-2009 Department of Community Health Budget Bill Passed - House (60 - 47)
6/04 SB 246 Smoking Ban Conference Report Adopted - House (163 - 38)
6/04 SB 246 Smoking Ban Conference Report Rejected - Senate (19 - 31)
6/04 HB 5068 Great Lakes Water Management Bill Passed - House (56 - 52)
5/29 AB 2572 Nutritional Disclosure Bill Bill Passed - House (46 - 15)
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 HB 17 Medicaid Funds Bill Bill Failed - House (55 - 53)
5/28 AB 2747 Disclosing End-of-Life Care Options Bill Passed - House (42 - 34)
5/28 AB 2279 Prohibiting Employment Discrimination Against Medical Marijuana Patients Bill Passed - House (41 - 35)
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 SB 2013 Hospital Tax for Medicaid Funding Bill Passed - Senate (41 - 7)
5/28 AB 1991 Development on Half Moon Bay Bill Passed - House (46 - 18)
5/28 AB 2716 Paid Sick Leave Bill Passed - House (45 - 33)
5/28 AB 2058 Paper and Plastic Bag Tax Bill Passed - House (44 - 33)

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