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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 5 Modifying Transportation Project Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 10)
Dec. 18, 2008 CA ABx1 8 Amending Sentencing, Parole, and Property Crime Statutes Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
Dec. 18, 2008 CA ABx1 2 Tax Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
Dec. 18, 2008 CA ABx1 4 Reducing Education Appropriations Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 8)
Dec. 18, 2008 OH HB 649 Funding Veterans' Bonuses Using the Budget Stabilization Fund Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 8)
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 - Senate (33 - 4)
Dec. 15, 2008 NJ A 3373 Amending NJ STARS/NJ STARS II Scholarship Eligibility Bill Passed - House (63 - 10)
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. 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. 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 - House (61 - 11)
Sept. 16, 2008 CA AB 1781 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (29 - 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. 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 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. 29, 2008 CA AB 583 Public Financing of Elections Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 18)
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. 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. 7, 2008 AK SB 4002 Energy Rebate Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (11 - 5)
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. 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. 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 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 15, 2008 CA SB 974 Shipping Fee Bill Passed - House (46 - 24)
July 9, 2008 VA SB 6009 Transportation Taxes Bill Failed - House (39 - 59)
July 8, 2008 NC HB 2690 Durham County Meals Tax Bill Passed - House (60 - 59)
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 SB 1389 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (170 - 32)
July 4, 2008 PA HB 1067 Omnibus Education Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - House (191 - 11)
July 1, 2008 DE HB 518 Alcohol Tax Increase Bill Failed - Senate (7 - 14)
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 27, 2008 MS HB 17 Medicaid Funds Bill Bill Passed - House (68 - 44)
June 27, 2008 NV SB 5 2008-2009 Education Budget Bill Passed - Senate (12 - 9)
June 26, 2008 AZ HB 2209 2008-2009 Budget Concurrence Vote Passed - House (31 - 29)
June 26, 2008 AZ HB 2209 2008-2009 Budget Bill Passed - Senate (16 - 10)
June 26, 2008 DE HB 518 Alcohol Tax Increase Bill Passed - House (25 - 16)
June 25, 2008 VA SB 6009 Transportation Taxes Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 16)
June 24, 2008 NY A 11258 Mandatory Cigarette Taxation Bill Passed - House (141 - 3)
June 24, 2008 NY S 8638 Internet Sales Tax Repeal Bill Passed - Senate (44 - 18)
June 23, 2008 AZ SB 1476 Reducing Probation for Good Behavior Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (20 - 4)
June 23, 2008 AZ SB 1167 Off-Highway Vehicle Regulations Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (16 - 7)
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 23, 2008 NJ S 1962 State Worker Retirement and Health Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 8)
June 23, 2008 NJ S 1557 FamilyCare Expansion bill Bill Passed - House (59 - 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 16, 2008 PA SB 1388 Change Formula for Calculating Corporate Net Income Tax Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 19)
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 5 Modifying Transportation Project Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 10)
12/18 ABx1 8 Amending Sentencing, Parole, and Property Crime Statutes Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
12/18 ABx1 2 Tax Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
12/18 ABx1 4 Reducing Education Appropriations Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 8)
12/18 HB 649 Funding Veterans' Bonuses Using the Budget Stabilization Fund Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 8)
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 - Senate (33 - 4)
12/15 A 3373 Amending NJ STARS/NJ STARS II Scholarship Eligibility Bill Passed - House (63 - 10)
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)
12/04 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)
11/17 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 - House (61 - 11)
9/16 AB 1781 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (29 - 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)
8/29 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 SB 1407 Financing Courthouse Construction Bill Passed - House (45 - 20)
8/29 AB 2321 Metro Sales Tax Increase Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 13)
8/29 AB 583 Public Financing of Elections Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 18)
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)
8/08 A 11258 Mandatory Cigarette Taxation Bill Passed - Senate (54 - 4)
8/08 S 8736 School District Property Tax Cap Bill Passed - Senate (38 - 20)
8/07 SB 4002 Energy Rebate Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (11 - 5)
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)
8/06 SB 4002 Energy Rebate Bill Bill Passed - House (30 - 7)
8/05 SB 974 Shipping Fee Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (22 - 10)
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)
7/26 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)
7/15 SB 974 Shipping Fee Bill Passed - House (46 - 24)
7/09 SB 6009 Transportation Taxes Bill Failed - House (39 - 59)
7/08 HB 2690 Durham County Meals Tax Bill Passed - House (60 - 59)
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 SB 1389 2008-2009 Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (170 - 32)
7/04 HB 1067 Omnibus Education Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - House (191 - 11)
7/01 HB 518 Alcohol Tax Increase Bill Failed - Senate (7 - 14)
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)
6/27 HB 17 Medicaid Funds Bill Bill Passed - House (68 - 44)
6/27 SB 5 2008-2009 Education Budget Bill Passed - Senate (12 - 9)
6/26 HB 2209 2008-2009 Budget Concurrence Vote Passed - House (31 - 29)
6/26 HB 2209 2008-2009 Budget Bill Passed - Senate (16 - 10)
6/26 HB 518 Alcohol Tax Increase Bill Passed - House (25 - 16)
6/25 SB 6009 Transportation Taxes Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 16)
6/24 A 11258 Mandatory Cigarette Taxation Bill Passed - House (141 - 3)
6/24 S 8638 Internet Sales Tax Repeal Bill Passed - Senate (44 - 18)
6/23 SB 1476 Reducing Probation for Good Behavior Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (20 - 4)
6/23 SB 1167 Off-Highway Vehicle Regulations Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (16 - 7)
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)
6/23 S 1962 State Worker Retirement and Health Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 8)
6/23 S 1557 FamilyCare Expansion bill Bill Passed - House (59 - 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)
6/16 SB 1388 Change Formula for Calculating Corporate Net Income Tax Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 19)

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