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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. 2, 2009 NY A 40003 Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Bill Failed - Senate (24 - 38)
Dec. 2, 2009 NY A 40003 Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passed - House (88 - 51)
Oct. 8, 2009 MA SB 2028 Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Plan Bill Passed - House (114 - 36)
Sept. 10, 2009 CA AB 524 Privacy Law Expansion Concurrence Vote Passed - House (57 - 20)
Sept. 9, 2009 CA SB 54 Recognizing Out-of-State Same-Sex Marriages Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (23 - 14)
Sept. 8, 2009 CA SB 572 Harvey Milk Day Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (23 - 14)
Sept. 8, 2009 CA AB 524 Privacy Law Expansion Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 15)
Sept. 4, 2009 CA AB 793 Clarifying Statute of Limitations for Wage Discrimination Lawsuits Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)
Sept. 3, 2009 CA SB 54 Recognizing Out-of-State Same-Sex Marriages Bill Passed - House (47 - 29)
Sept. 3, 2009 CA SB 572 Harvey Milk Day Bill Passed - House (46 - 28)
Aug. 5, 2009 NC SB 461 Racial Discrimination in Capital Sentences Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (25 - 18)
July 15, 2009 NC HB 1185 Habitual DWI Reinstatement after Ten Years Concurrence Vote Passed - House (87 - 29)
July 15, 2009 NC SB 461 Racial Discrimination in Capital Sentences Bill Passed - House (61 - 54)
June 29, 2009 DE SB 169 Health Clinic Access Bill Passed - Senate (16 - 3)
June 25, 2009 NJ A 3101 Creating Homelessness Trust Funds Concurrence Vote Passed - House (52 - 27)
June 24, 2009 DE SB 121 Adding Sexual Orientation to Delaware Anti-Discriminatory Laws Bill Passed - Senate (14 - 5)
June 24, 2009 DE SB 121 Adding Sexual Orientation to Delaware Anti-Discriminatory Laws Bill Passed - House (26 - 14)
June 23, 2009 OR HB 2377 Prohibiting Handheld Cell Phone Use While Driving Bill Passed - Senate (16 - 13)
June 22, 2009 AZ SB 1440 Smoking in Cars with Minors Bill Failed - Senate (9 - 20)
June 22, 2009 AZ HCR 2019 Ends Affirmative Action Amendment Adopted - Senate (17 - 11)
June 22, 2009 AZ SB 1443 Driving While Texting Bill Failed - Senate (14 - 15)
June 19, 2009 OR SB 519 Mandatory Workplace Meetings Bill Passed - House (34 - 24)
June 18, 2009 LA HB 340 Religious Freedom Constitutional Amendment Concurrence Vote Failed - House (53 - 26)
June 18, 2009 NJ A 3101 Creating Homelessness Trust Funds Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 7)
June 18, 2009 AZ HCR 2019 Ends Affirmative Action Amendment Adopted - House (32 - 18)
June 17, 2009 LA HB 499 Seat Belt Law Concurrence Vote Passed - House (75 - 12)
June 16, 2009 LA HB 11 Designating Driver's Licenses for Drug Dealers Bill Failed - House (68 - 23)
June 8, 2009 OR SB 519 Mandatory Workplace Meetings Bill Passed - Senate (16 - 14)
June 4, 2009 DE SB 121 Adding Sexual Orientation to Delaware Anti-Discriminatory Laws
June 3, 2009 ME LD 1357 Relating to Driver's License and Identification Card Regulations Veto Override Failed - Senate (7 - 28)
June 3, 2009 NH HB 73 Religious Choice in Performing Marriage Ceremonies Conference Report Adopted - House (198 - 176)
June 3, 2009 ME LD 1357 Relating to Driver's License and Identification Card Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 17)
June 2, 2009 LA HB 639 Motorcycle Helmets Bill Passed - House (64 - 33)
June 1, 2009 NV SB 52 New Standards for Drivers Licenses and Identification Cards Bill Passed - Senate (12 - 9)
June 1, 2009 ME LD 1357 Relating to Driver's License and Identification Card Regulations Bill Passed - House (81 - 56)
May 31, 2009 TX HB 537 Increase Required Age for Seatbelts Conference Report Adopted - House (105 - 34)
May 31, 2009 NV SB 283 Establishing Domestic Partnerships Veto Override Passed - House (28 - 14)
May 30, 2009 NV SB 283 Establishing Domestic Partnerships Veto Override Passed - Senate (14 - 7)
May 29, 2009 OR SB 786 Workplace Religious Discrimination Bill Passed - House (38 - 21)
May 28, 2009 LA SB 186 Indoor Smoking Ban Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 10)
May 27, 2009 LA Amdt B-200 Cell Phone Secondary Offense Amendment Adopted - House (56 - 40)
May 27, 2009 LA HB 146 Cell Phones While Driving Bill Passed - House (57 - 41)
May 26, 2009 MI HB 4377 Smoking Ban Bill Passed - House (73 - 31)
May 20, 2009 ME LD 290 Out-of-State Health Insurance "Ought Not to Pass" Report Adopted - Senate (19 - 16)
May 20, 2009 NH HB 73 Religious Choice in Performing Marriage Ceremonies Bill Passed - Senate (14 - 10)
May 20, 2009 MI HB 4836 Hate Crimes Bill Passed - House (66 - 43)
May 19, 2009 LA HB 517 Health Care Protection Bill Passed - House (82 - 13)
May 18, 2009 MN HF 108 Primary Seat Belt Law Bill Passed - Senate (47 - 19)
May 18, 2009 MN HF 108 Primary Seat Belt Law Bill Passed - House (73 - 60)
May 15, 2009 NV SB 283 Establishing Domestic Partnerships Bill Passed - House (26 - 14)
May 14, 2009 NC SB 461 Racial Discrimination in Capital Sentences Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 10)
May 14, 2009 CA SB 572 Harvey Milk Day Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 14)
May 14, 2009 CA SB 4 Prohibiting Smoking at State Park Beaches Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 14)
May 13, 2009 ME LD 290 Out-of-State Health Insurance "Ought Not to Pass" Report Adopted - House (82 - 63)
May 13, 2009 WI SB 181 Indoor Smoking Ban Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 8)
May 13, 2009 WI SB 181 Indoor Smoking Ban Bill Passed - House (61 - 38)
May 12, 2009 NY A 7732 Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passed - House (89 - 52)
May 12, 2009 LA HB 60 Birth Certificates for Adoption Bill Passed - House (78 - 17)
May 11, 2009 TX HB 1736 Increasing Wrongful Conviction Compensation Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 4)
May 11, 2009 NC HB 2 Statewide Indoor Smoking Ban Bill Passed - Senate (30 - 18)
May 6, 2009 ME LD 1020 Same Sex Marriage Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (21 - 13)
May 6, 2009 CO SB 241 DNA Sampling Upon Felony Arrest Conference Report Adopted - House (52 - 12)
May 5, 2009 ME LD 1020 Same Sex Marriage Bill Bill Passed - House (89 - 57)
May 5, 2009 OR SB 786 Workplace Religious Discrimination Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 11)
May 4, 2009 VT Transportation Amendment to S 67 Selective Service Registration by Drivers License Amendment Rejected - House (60 - 68)
May 4, 2009 TN HB 959 Close Handgun Permit Records Bill Passed - House (83 - 12)
April 30, 2009 CO SB 296 Seat Belt Violation as Primary Offense Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 15)
April 29, 2009 NH HB 383 Mandating Seat Belt Usage Bill Tabled - Senate (13 - 11)
April 29, 2009 WI SB 20 Discriminatory Pay Compensation Bill Passed - House (51 - 47)
April 29, 2009 NH HB 436 Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passed - Senate (13 - 11)
April 28, 2009 MO Amdt 1 Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse to Provide "Abortifacients" Amendment Adopted - House (115 - 43)
April 28, 2009 WI SB 20 Discriminatory Pay Compensation Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 15)
April 28, 2009 OR HB 2377 Prohibiting Handheld Cell Phone Use While Driving Bill Passed - House (38 - 22)
April 27, 2009 TN SB 393 Prohibiting Texting While Driving Bill Passed - House (67 - 24)
April 27, 2009 CO SB 241 DNA Sampling Upon Felony Arrest Bill Passed - Senate (28 - 7)
April 23, 2009 AL HB 533 Hate Crime Law Expansion Bill Passed - House (46 - 41)
April 22, 2009 PA A771 Requiring Hands Free Devices for Cell Phones in Cars Amendment Rejected - House (95 - 100)
April 22, 2009 WA HB 1517 Expediting the Restoration of Felons' Voting Rights Concurrence Vote Passed - House (52 - 44)
April 22, 2009 CT SB 899 Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passed - House (100 - 44)
April 22, 2009 CT SB 899 Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passed - Senate (28 - 7)
April 21, 2009 NV SB 283 Establishing Domestic Partnerships Bill Passed - Senate (12 - 9)
April 17, 2009 NE LB 355 Exempting Cigar Bars from the Smoking Ban Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 22)
April 17, 2009 NV SB 372 Smoking Ban Exceptions Bill Passed - Senate (14 - 5)
April 16, 2009 CA SB 242 Prohibiting Language Discrimination Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 15)
April 15, 2009 WA HB 1517 Expediting the Restoration of Felons' Voting Rights Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 19)
April 15, 2009 VT H 147 Primary Seat Belt Enforcement Bill Passed - House (104 - 40)
April 15, 2009 TX SB 1049 Increasing Age Restriction on Tobacco Purchases Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 5)
April 15, 2009 WA SB 5688 Expanding Domestic Partnership Rights Bill Passed - House (62 - 35)
April 13, 2009 MD HB 387 "Lawful Status" Requirements for ID Cards, Vehicle Licenses and Permits Conference Report Adopted - House (76 - 60)
April 10, 2009 MD SB 277 Authorizing Speed Monitoring Systems Bill Passed - House (94 - 41)
April 8, 2009 NH HB 415 Prohibiting Gender Identity Discrimination Bill Passed - House (188 - 187)
April 8, 2009 ME LD 67 Prohibiting Smoking at State Park Beaches Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 9)
April 7, 2009 VT S 115 Same-Sex Marriage Veto Override Passed - House (100 - 49)
April 7, 2009 VT S 115 Same-Sex Marriage Veto Override Passed - Senate (23 - 5)
April 3, 2009 ND SB 2278 Prohibiting Sexual Orientation Discrimination Bill Failed - House (34 - 54)
April 3, 2009 VT S 115 Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passed - House (94 - 52)
April 3, 2009 GA SB 86 Requiring Proof of Citizenship for Voter Registration Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (30 - 13)
April 3, 2009 GA SB 86 Requiring Proof of Citizenship for Voter Registration Bill Passed - House (140 - 67)
April 2, 2009 MT HB 531 Red Light Camera Prohibition Bill Passed - Senate (38 - 11)
April 2, 2009 NC HB 2 Statewide Indoor Smoking Ban Bill Passed - House (72 - 45)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/02 A 40003 Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Bill Failed - Senate (24 - 38)
12/02 A 40003 Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passed - House (88 - 51)
10/08 SB 2028 Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Plan Bill Passed - House (114 - 36)
9/10 AB 524 Privacy Law Expansion Concurrence Vote Passed - House (57 - 20)
9/09 SB 54 Recognizing Out-of-State Same-Sex Marriages Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (23 - 14)
9/08 SB 572 Harvey Milk Day Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (23 - 14)
9/08 AB 524 Privacy Law Expansion Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 15)
9/04 AB 793 Clarifying Statute of Limitations for Wage Discrimination Lawsuits Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)
9/03 SB 54 Recognizing Out-of-State Same-Sex Marriages Bill Passed - House (47 - 29)
9/03 SB 572 Harvey Milk Day Bill Passed - House (46 - 28)
8/05 SB 461 Racial Discrimination in Capital Sentences Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (25 - 18)
7/15 HB 1185 Habitual DWI Reinstatement after Ten Years Concurrence Vote Passed - House (87 - 29)
7/15 SB 461 Racial Discrimination in Capital Sentences Bill Passed - House (61 - 54)
6/29 SB 169 Health Clinic Access Bill Passed - Senate (16 - 3)
6/25 A 3101 Creating Homelessness Trust Funds Concurrence Vote Passed - House (52 - 27)
6/24 SB 121 Adding Sexual Orientation to Delaware Anti-Discriminatory Laws Bill Passed - Senate (14 - 5)
6/24 SB 121 Adding Sexual Orientation to Delaware Anti-Discriminatory Laws Bill Passed - House (26 - 14)
6/23 HB 2377 Prohibiting Handheld Cell Phone Use While Driving Bill Passed - Senate (16 - 13)
6/22 SB 1440 Smoking in Cars with Minors Bill Failed - Senate (9 - 20)
6/22 HCR 2019 Ends Affirmative Action Amendment Adopted - Senate (17 - 11)
6/22 SB 1443 Driving While Texting Bill Failed - Senate (14 - 15)
6/19 SB 519 Mandatory Workplace Meetings Bill Passed - House (34 - 24)
6/18 HB 340 Religious Freedom Constitutional Amendment Concurrence Vote Failed - House (53 - 26)
6/18 A 3101 Creating Homelessness Trust Funds Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 7)
6/18 HCR 2019 Ends Affirmative Action Amendment Adopted - House (32 - 18)
6/17 HB 499 Seat Belt Law Concurrence Vote Passed - House (75 - 12)
6/16 HB 11 Designating Driver's Licenses for Drug Dealers Bill Failed - House (68 - 23)
6/08 SB 519 Mandatory Workplace Meetings Bill Passed - Senate (16 - 14)
6/04 SB 121 Adding Sexual Orientation to Delaware Anti-Discriminatory Laws
6/03 LD 1357 Relating to Driver's License and Identification Card Regulations Veto Override Failed - Senate (7 - 28)
6/03 HB 73 Religious Choice in Performing Marriage Ceremonies Conference Report Adopted - House (198 - 176)
6/03 LD 1357 Relating to Driver's License and Identification Card Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 17)
6/02 HB 639 Motorcycle Helmets Bill Passed - House (64 - 33)
6/01 SB 52 New Standards for Drivers Licenses and Identification Cards Bill Passed - Senate (12 - 9)
6/01 LD 1357 Relating to Driver's License and Identification Card Regulations Bill Passed - House (81 - 56)
5/31 HB 537 Increase Required Age for Seatbelts Conference Report Adopted - House (105 - 34)
5/31 SB 283 Establishing Domestic Partnerships Veto Override Passed - House (28 - 14)
5/30 SB 283 Establishing Domestic Partnerships Veto Override Passed - Senate (14 - 7)
5/29 SB 786 Workplace Religious Discrimination Bill Passed - House (38 - 21)
5/28 SB 186 Indoor Smoking Ban Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 10)
5/27 Amdt B-200 Cell Phone Secondary Offense Amendment Adopted - House (56 - 40)
5/27 HB 146 Cell Phones While Driving Bill Passed - House (57 - 41)
5/26 HB 4377 Smoking Ban Bill Passed - House (73 - 31)
5/20 LD 290 Out-of-State Health Insurance "Ought Not to Pass" Report Adopted - Senate (19 - 16)
5/20 HB 73 Religious Choice in Performing Marriage Ceremonies Bill Passed - Senate (14 - 10)
5/20 HB 4836 Hate Crimes Bill Passed - House (66 - 43)
5/19 HB 517 Health Care Protection Bill Passed - House (82 - 13)
5/18 HF 108 Primary Seat Belt Law Bill Passed - Senate (47 - 19)
5/18 HF 108 Primary Seat Belt Law Bill Passed - House (73 - 60)
5/15 SB 283 Establishing Domestic Partnerships Bill Passed - House (26 - 14)
5/14 SB 461 Racial Discrimination in Capital Sentences Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 10)
5/14 SB 572 Harvey Milk Day Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 14)
5/14 SB 4 Prohibiting Smoking at State Park Beaches Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 14)
5/13 LD 290 Out-of-State Health Insurance "Ought Not to Pass" Report Adopted - House (82 - 63)
5/13 SB 181 Indoor Smoking Ban Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 8)
5/13 SB 181 Indoor Smoking Ban Bill Passed - House (61 - 38)
5/12 A 7732 Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passed - House (89 - 52)
5/12 HB 60 Birth Certificates for Adoption Bill Passed - House (78 - 17)
5/11 HB 1736 Increasing Wrongful Conviction Compensation Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 4)
5/11 HB 2 Statewide Indoor Smoking Ban Bill Passed - Senate (30 - 18)
5/06 LD 1020 Same Sex Marriage Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (21 - 13)
5/06 SB 241 DNA Sampling Upon Felony Arrest Conference Report Adopted - House (52 - 12)
5/05 LD 1020 Same Sex Marriage Bill Bill Passed - House (89 - 57)
5/05 SB 786 Workplace Religious Discrimination Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 11)
5/04 Transportation Amendment to S 67 Selective Service Registration by Drivers License Amendment Rejected - House (60 - 68)
5/04 HB 959 Close Handgun Permit Records Bill Passed - House (83 - 12)
4/30 SB 296 Seat Belt Violation as Primary Offense Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 15)
4/29 HB 383 Mandating Seat Belt Usage Bill Tabled - Senate (13 - 11)
4/29 SB 20 Discriminatory Pay Compensation Bill Passed - House (51 - 47)
4/29 HB 436 Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passed - Senate (13 - 11)
4/28 Amdt 1 Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse to Provide "Abortifacients" Amendment Adopted - House (115 - 43)
4/28 SB 20 Discriminatory Pay Compensation Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 15)
4/28 HB 2377 Prohibiting Handheld Cell Phone Use While Driving Bill Passed - House (38 - 22)
4/27 SB 393 Prohibiting Texting While Driving Bill Passed - House (67 - 24)
4/27 SB 241 DNA Sampling Upon Felony Arrest Bill Passed - Senate (28 - 7)
4/23 HB 533 Hate Crime Law Expansion Bill Passed - House (46 - 41)
4/22 A771 Requiring Hands Free Devices for Cell Phones in Cars Amendment Rejected - House (95 - 100)
4/22 HB 1517 Expediting the Restoration of Felons' Voting Rights Concurrence Vote Passed - House (52 - 44)
4/22 SB 899 Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passed - House (100 - 44)
4/22 SB 899 Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passed - Senate (28 - 7)
4/21 SB 283 Establishing Domestic Partnerships Bill Passed - Senate (12 - 9)
4/17 LB 355 Exempting Cigar Bars from the Smoking Ban Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 22)
4/17 SB 372 Smoking Ban Exceptions Bill Passed - Senate (14 - 5)
4/16 SB 242 Prohibiting Language Discrimination Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 15)
4/15 HB 1517 Expediting the Restoration of Felons' Voting Rights Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 19)
4/15 H 147 Primary Seat Belt Enforcement Bill Passed - House (104 - 40)
4/15 SB 1049 Increasing Age Restriction on Tobacco Purchases Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 5)
4/15 SB 5688 Expanding Domestic Partnership Rights Bill Passed - House (62 - 35)
4/13 HB 387 "Lawful Status" Requirements for ID Cards, Vehicle Licenses and Permits Conference Report Adopted - House (76 - 60)
4/10 SB 277 Authorizing Speed Monitoring Systems Bill Passed - House (94 - 41)
4/08 HB 415 Prohibiting Gender Identity Discrimination Bill Passed - House (188 - 187)
4/08 LD 67 Prohibiting Smoking at State Park Beaches Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 9)
4/07 S 115 Same-Sex Marriage Veto Override Passed - House (100 - 49)
4/07 S 115 Same-Sex Marriage Veto Override Passed - Senate (23 - 5)
4/03 SB 2278 Prohibiting Sexual Orientation Discrimination Bill Failed - House (34 - 54)
4/03 S 115 Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passed - House (94 - 52)
4/03 SB 86 Requiring Proof of Citizenship for Voter Registration Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (30 - 13)
4/03 SB 86 Requiring Proof of Citizenship for Voter Registration Bill Passed - House (140 - 67)
4/02 HB 531 Red Light Camera Prohibition Bill Passed - Senate (38 - 11)
4/02 HB 2 Statewide Indoor Smoking Ban Bill Passed - House (72 - 45)

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