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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. Our summaries are written by Vote Smart's staff and interns, who adhere to our strict policies and procedures in order to guarantee absolute impartiality and accuracy. They do not necessarily reflect the content of the final version of the bill, but rather the version voted on in that stage. While many procedural votes take place before a full chamber vote, our voting stages reflect the final reading of each chamber vote. Each key vote selection is reviewed by the project's community of advisors, who are political scientists and journalists from all fifty states.

For more information about the legislative process, see here.


results per page:
Date State Bill No. Title Outcome
Dec. 6, 2011 National PN 5 Nomination of Caitlin Joan Halligan to the District of Columbia Circuit Court Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (54 - 45)
Dec. 1, 2011 National S Amdt 1125 Limits New Detention Rules to Prisoners Captured Outside the U.S. Amendment Rejected - Senate (45 - 55)
Dec. 1, 2011 National S Amdt 1126 Prohibits Detention of U.S. Citizens Without Trial Amendment Rejected - Senate (45 - 55)
Dec. 1, 2011 National S Amdt 1274 Authorizes Further Detention After Trial During Wartime Amendment Rejected - Senate (41 - 59)
Nov. 1, 2011 WI AB 69 Use of Deadly Force in Self-Defense Bill Passed - House (71 - 24)
Nov. 1, 2011 WI AB 147 Inadmissibility of Apology Statements by Health Care Providers Bill Passed - House (62 - 33)
Oct. 27, 2011 IL SB 1701 Legal Immunity for Individuals Seeking Treatment for Drug Overdose Bill Passed - House (61 - 53)
Oct. 27, 2011 WI SB 12 Limits Attorney Fees in Consumer Cases Bill Passed - Senate (17 - 15)
Oct. 21, 2011 National S Amdt 753 Prohibits the Use of Funds for Prosecution of Enemy Combatants in Civilian Courts Amendment Rejected - Senate (47 - 52)
Sept. 8, 2011 National HR 1249 Patent Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (89 - 9)
June 27, 2011 PA SB 1131 Tort Amendments Bill Passed - House (116 - 83)
June 23, 2011 National HR 1249 Patent Law Amendments Bill Passed - House (304 - 117)
June 21, 2011 PA SB 1131 Tort Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (32 - 18)
May 27, 2011 CT HB 6650 Appropriations for Judicial Branch and Other Agencies Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 14)
May 12, 2011 MI HB 4484 State Tax on Retirement Distributions for Judges and State Officials Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 19)
April 28, 2011 MI HB 4484 State Tax on Retirement Distributions for Judges and State Officials Bill Passed - House (57 - 52)
April 20, 2011 NC SB 33 Medical Malpractice Amendments Bill Passed - House (91 - 27)
April 15, 2011 FL HJR 7111 Amends the Division of the Florida Supreme Court Amendment Adopted - House (79 - 38)
April 14, 2011 GA HB 24 Amending Rules of Evidence Bill Passed - Senate (50 - 3)
April 11, 2011 PA HB 1 Comparative Negligence Provisions Bill Passed - House (112 - 88)
April 11, 2011 AZ HB 2191 Punitive Damage Awards Concurrence Vote Passed - House (41 - 17)
April 8, 2011 MD HB 302 Parole Approval Concurrence Vote Passed - House (75 - 65)
April 6, 2011 AZ HB 2191 Punitive Damage Awards Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 8)
April 5, 2011 MD HB 302 Parole Approval Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 15)
March 23, 2011 KS SB 83 Amends Judicial Appointment Process Bill Passed - House (66 - 57)
March 15, 2011 NH HB 89 State Lawsuit against the Federal Health Care Law Bill Passed - House (259 - 107)
March 8, 2011 MD HB 302 Parole Approval Bill Passed - House (74 - 66)
March 3, 2011 MT HB 521 Referendum to Revise Judicial Election Laws Bill Failed - House (45 - 54)
March 2, 2011 WV HB 2732 Increased Fees for Lawsuits Bill Passed - House (65 - 35)
March 2, 2011 NC SB 33 Medical Malpractice Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 13)
March 2, 2011 WV HB 2732 Increased Fees for Lawsuits Bill Passed - House (65 - 35)
Feb. 28, 2011 GA HB 24 Amending Rules of Evidence Bill Passed - House (162 - 5)
Feb. 23, 2011 OK SB 863 Compensation for Non-Economic Damages Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 18)
Feb. 22, 2011 WY HB 39 Funding for Lawsuit Against Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Bill Failed - Senate (10 - 19)
Feb. 22, 2011 UT SB 96 Alimony Amendments Bill Failed - Senate (11 - 17)
Feb. 18, 2011 MT SB 268 Election of Supreme Court Justices by District Bill Passed - Senate (30 - 20)
Feb. 17, 2011 SD HB 1171 Fetus Protection Bill Bill Tabled - House (61 - 4)
Feb. 7, 2011 WY HB 198 Admissibility of Evidence in Sex Offense Cases Bill Failed - House (29 - 30)
Feb. 3, 2011 VA SB 831 Amending the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)
Jan. 20, 2011 WI SB 1 Tort Law Amendments Bill Passed - House (57 - 36)
Jan. 18, 2011 WI SB 1 Tort Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 14)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/06 PN 5 Nomination of Caitlin Joan Halligan to the District of Columbia Circuit Court Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (54 - 45)
12/01 S Amdt 1125 Limits New Detention Rules to Prisoners Captured Outside the U.S. Amendment Rejected - Senate (45 - 55)
12/01 S Amdt 1126 Prohibits Detention of U.S. Citizens Without Trial Amendment Rejected - Senate (45 - 55)
12/01 S Amdt 1274 Authorizes Further Detention After Trial During Wartime Amendment Rejected - Senate (41 - 59)
11/01 AB 69 Use of Deadly Force in Self-Defense Bill Passed - House (71 - 24)
11/01 AB 147 Inadmissibility of Apology Statements by Health Care Providers Bill Passed - House (62 - 33)
10/27 SB 1701 Legal Immunity for Individuals Seeking Treatment for Drug Overdose Bill Passed - House (61 - 53)
10/27 SB 12 Limits Attorney Fees in Consumer Cases Bill Passed - Senate (17 - 15)
10/21 S Amdt 753 Prohibits the Use of Funds for Prosecution of Enemy Combatants in Civilian Courts Amendment Rejected - Senate (47 - 52)
9/08 HR 1249 Patent Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (89 - 9)
6/27 SB 1131 Tort Amendments Bill Passed - House (116 - 83)
6/23 HR 1249 Patent Law Amendments Bill Passed - House (304 - 117)
6/21 SB 1131 Tort Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (32 - 18)
5/27 HB 6650 Appropriations for Judicial Branch and Other Agencies Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 14)
5/12 HB 4484 State Tax on Retirement Distributions for Judges and State Officials Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 19)
4/28 HB 4484 State Tax on Retirement Distributions for Judges and State Officials Bill Passed - House (57 - 52)
4/20 SB 33 Medical Malpractice Amendments Bill Passed - House (91 - 27)
4/15 HJR 7111 Amends the Division of the Florida Supreme Court Amendment Adopted - House (79 - 38)
4/14 HB 24 Amending Rules of Evidence Bill Passed - Senate (50 - 3)
4/11 HB 1 Comparative Negligence Provisions Bill Passed - House (112 - 88)
4/11 HB 2191 Punitive Damage Awards Concurrence Vote Passed - House (41 - 17)
4/08 HB 302 Parole Approval Concurrence Vote Passed - House (75 - 65)
4/06 HB 2191 Punitive Damage Awards Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 8)
4/05 HB 302 Parole Approval Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 15)
3/23 SB 83 Amends Judicial Appointment Process Bill Passed - House (66 - 57)
3/15 HB 89 State Lawsuit against the Federal Health Care Law Bill Passed - House (259 - 107)
3/08 HB 302 Parole Approval Bill Passed - House (74 - 66)
3/03 HB 521 Referendum to Revise Judicial Election Laws Bill Failed - House (45 - 54)
3/02 HB 2732 Increased Fees for Lawsuits Bill Passed - House (65 - 35)
3/02 SB 33 Medical Malpractice Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 13)
3/02 HB 2732 Increased Fees for Lawsuits Bill Passed - House (65 - 35)
2/28 HB 24 Amending Rules of Evidence Bill Passed - House (162 - 5)
2/23 SB 863 Compensation for Non-Economic Damages Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 18)
2/22 HB 39 Funding for Lawsuit Against Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Bill Failed - Senate (10 - 19)
2/22 SB 96 Alimony Amendments Bill Failed - Senate (11 - 17)
2/18 SB 268 Election of Supreme Court Justices by District Bill Passed - Senate (30 - 20)
2/17 HB 1171 Fetus Protection Bill Bill Tabled - House (61 - 4)
2/07 HB 198 Admissibility of Evidence in Sex Offense Cases Bill Failed - House (29 - 30)
2/03 SB 831 Amending the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)
1/20 SB 1 Tort Law Amendments Bill Passed - House (57 - 36)
1/18 SB 1 Tort Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 14)

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