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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. 13, 2012 MI SB 865 Authorizes Local Officials to Solve Fiscal Crisis Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
Dec. 12, 2012 MI SB 865 Authorizes Local Officials to Solve Fiscal Crisis Bill Passed - House (64 - 45)
Oct. 16, 2012 PA SB 1115 Amends Charter School Laws Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (33 - 16)
Aug. 29, 2012 CA AB 2132 Encourages State Universities to Include Public Service in Tenure Policy Concurrence Vote Passed - House (51 - 27)
Aug. 28, 2012 CA AB 2132 Encourages State Universities to Include Public Service in Tenure Policy Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 14)
Aug. 15, 2012 MI SB 1040 Amends Teacher Pension Plans Concurrence Vote Passed - House (57 - 48)
Aug. 15, 2012 MI SB 1040 Amends Teacher Pension Plans Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (21 - 16)
July 18, 2012 MI SB 1040 Amends Teacher Pension Plans Concurrence Vote Failed - Senate (16 - 22)
June 30, 2012 PA SB 1115 Amends Charter School Laws Bill Passed - House (120 - 77)
June 28, 2012 PA HB 1307 Authorizes State Control of Financially Distressed Schools Concurrence Vote Passed - House (106 - 95)
June 26, 2012 SC H 4497 Authorizes Information On and Access to the HPV Vaccine Veto Override Failed - House (54 - 47)
June 21, 2012 NY S 7722A Authorizes Special Education Tuition Reimbursement Bill Passed - House (93 - 50)
June 21, 2012 NY S 7722A Authorizes Special Education Tuition Reimbursement Bill Passed - Senate (47 - 13)
June 19, 2012 PA HB 1307 Authorizes State Control of Financially Distressed Schools Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 21)
June 19, 2012 National S Amdt 2156 Increases Funding for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Amendment Rejected - Senate (33 - 66)
June 18, 2012 NC HB 7 Authorizes Community Colleges to Opt Out of Federal Loan Program Veto Override Passed - Senate (31 - 16)
June 14, 2012 NC HB 7 Authorizes Community Colleges to Opt Out of Federal Loan Program Veto Override Passed - House (71 - 46)
June 14, 2012 MI SB 1040 Amends Teacher Pension Plans Bill Passed - House (57 - 47)
June 13, 2012 OH SB 316 Amends Education Provisions Bill Passed - House (56 - 35)
June 6, 2012 NH CACR 12 Legislative Authority of Education Requirements Conference Report Rejected - House (224 - 144)
June 6, 2012 NH CACR 12 Legislative Authority of Education Requirements Conference Report Adopted - Senate (17 - 6)
June 6, 2012 MI SB 620 Authorizes the Conversion of Certain Schools Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 18)
June 5, 2012 MI HB 5372 School Aid Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (21 - 17)
June 5, 2012 MI HB 5372 School Aid Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (21 - 17)
June 4, 2012 LA SCR 99 Funding for Public and Private Schools Conference Report Adopted - House (51 - 49)
June 4, 2012 NC SB 795 Amends Teacher Tenure System Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 17)
June 3, 2012 LA SCR 99 Funding for Public and Private Schools Conference Report Adopted - Senate (24 - 15)
June 1, 2012 MI HB 5372 School Aid Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (58 - 51)
June 1, 2012 MI HB 5372 School Aid Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (58 - 51)
May 31, 2012 IL HB 5440 Establishes a 5 Percent Fee on Satellite TV Companies Bill Passed - Senate (30 - 27)
May 31, 2012 IL SB 2621 Amends the Department of Corrections' Early Release Program Bill Passed - House (68 - 50)
May 31, 2012 CA SB 1525 Establishes a Student Athlete Bill of Rights Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 14)
May 31, 2012 MI HB 4513 Increases Minimum Age for Beginning Kindergarten Bill Passed - House (64 - 45)
May 29, 2012 IL HB 5290 Requires Schools to Establish Bullying Policies Bill Failed - Senate (29 - 21)
May 24, 2012 National S 2343 Extends Student Loan Interest Rates (Reid Bill) Bill Failed - Senate (51 - 43)
May 24, 2012 National S Amdt 2153 Prohibits Increase in Interest Rates for Student Loans (Lamar Bill) Amendment Rejected - Senate (34 - 62)
May 22, 2012 LA HB 292 School Board Member Term Limits Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 16)
May 17, 2012 MI SB 1040 Amends Teacher Pension Plans Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 18)
May 16, 2012 AL HB 658 Amends Immigration Regulations Concurrence Vote Passed - House (67 - 37)
May 16, 2012 AL HB 658 Amends Immigration Regulations Concurrence Vote Passed - House (67 - 37)
May 16, 2012 AL HB 658 Amends Immigration Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 7)
May 16, 2012 NH HB 1607 Establishes a Tax Credit for Businesses that Donate to Certain Scholarship Funds Bill Passed - Senate (17 - 7)
May 16, 2012 AL HB 658 Amends Immigration Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 7)
May 15, 2012 MO SB 576 Authorizes the Expansion of Charter Schools Bill Passed - House (99 - 54)
May 15, 2012 MO SB 576 Authorizes the Expansion of Charter Schools Bill Passed - House (99 - 54)
May 10, 2012 AL HB 360 Requires Schools to Have a Longer Summer Vacation Veto Override Passed - Senate (23 - 8)
May 8, 2012 AL HB 360 Requires Schools to Have a Longer Summer Vacation Veto Override Passed - House (71 - 21)
May 8, 2012 IA SF 2284 Education Law Amendments Conference Report Adopted - House (87 - 9)
May 8, 2012 IA SF 2284 Education Law Amendments Conference Report Adopted - Senate (31 - 15)
May 8, 2012 National S 2343 Extends Student Loan Interest Rates (Reid Bill) Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (52 - 45)
May 3, 2012 KS King Amendment Amends the State Retirement System for New Public Employees Amendment Rejected - Senate (20 - 20)
May 3, 2012 KS King Amendment Amends the State Retirement System for New Public Employees Amendment Rejected - Senate (20 - 20)
May 3, 2012 MO HB 1526 Amends Teacher Dismissal Policies Bill Passed - House (83 - 76)
May 2, 2012 MI SB 619 Cyber Schools Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (23 - 14)
May 2, 2012 NH HB 1383 Prohibits In-State Tuition for Non-US Residents Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 5)
May 2, 2012 AL SB 513 Authorizes Charter Schools Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 12)
May 1, 2012 AL HB 360 Requires Schools to Have a Longer Summer Vacation Concurrence Vote Passed - House (58 - 36)
May 1, 2012 AL HB 360 Requires Schools to Have a Longer Summer Vacation Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 10)
May 1, 2012 MI SB 619 Cyber Schools Bill Passed - House (57 - 52)
April 30, 2012 TN SB 3597 Prohibits Discrimination Against Religious Student Groups at Public Universities Bill Passed - House (61 - 22)
April 30, 2012 TN SB 3597 Prohibits Discrimination Against Religious Student Groups at Public Universities Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 12)
April 27, 2012 TN SB 3310 Requires Abstinence-Centered Sex Education in Schools Bill Passed - House (68 - 23)
April 27, 2012 National HR 4628 Extending Student Loan Interest Rates Bill Passed - House (215 - 195)
April 26, 2012 TN HB 2566 Increases Kindergarten Age Requirements Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 10)
April 25, 2012 TN HB 2566 Increases Kindergarten Age Requirements Bill Passed - House (68 - 30)
April 19, 2012 AL HB 658 Amends Immigration Regulations Bill Passed - House (64 - 34)
April 19, 2012 AL HB 658 Amends Immigration Regulations Bill Passed - House (64 - 34)
April 16, 2012 TN SB 3345 Limits the Number of Foreign Nationals that May Work in a Charter School Bill Passed - House (63 - 29)
April 16, 2012 TN SB 2514 Amends Eligibility Requirements for the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 10)
April 12, 2012 TN SB 3345 Limits the Number of Foreign Nationals that May Work in a Charter School Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 13)
April 11, 2012 WA SB 5940 Amends Public School Employees Retirement Benefits Bill Passed - House (53 - 45)
April 11, 2012 WA SB 5940 Amends Public School Employees Retirement Benefits Bill Passed - House (53 - 45)
April 11, 2012 WA SB 5940 Amends Public School Employees Retirement Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 20)
April 11, 2012 WA SB 5940 Amends Public School Employees Retirement Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 20)
April 10, 2012 HI SB 2115 Amends Charter School System Bill Passed - House (40 - 11)
April 10, 2012 MS HB 707 Requires Schools to Have a Longer Summer Vacation Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 21)
April 10, 2012 CO SB 68 Prohibits Food with Trans Fat in Schools Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 17)
April 9, 2012 IA SF 2284 Education Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 24)
April 9, 2012 CO SB 15 College Tuition Rates for Undocumented Immigrants Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 14)
April 5, 2012 LA HB 974 Amends Teacher Tenure Policy Concurrence Vote Passed - House (60 - 43)
April 5, 2012 LA HB 976 Amends School Voucher Program Concurrence Vote Passed - House (60 - 43)
April 5, 2012 MD HB 373 Raises the Dropout Age for Public School Students Bill Passed - House (88 - 49)
April 4, 2012 LA HB 976 Amends School Voucher Program Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 15)
April 4, 2012 LA HB 974 Amends Teacher Tenure Policy Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 16)
April 2, 2012 MN HF 2083 Requires State Reserve Funds to be Used to Reduce School Debt Conference Report Adopted - Senate (35 - 28)
April 2, 2012 MN HF 2083 Requires State Reserve Funds to be Used to Reduce School Debt Conference Report Adopted - House (75 - 56)
March 29, 2012 GA HB 797 Establishes a State Charter School Commission Concurrence Vote Passed - House (117 - 55)
March 29, 2012 GA SB 410 Requires Numerical School Ratings Based on Student Performance Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (38 - 16)
March 29, 2012 GA SB 410 Requires Numerical School Ratings Based on Student Performance Bill Passed - House (94 - 67)
March 29, 2012 IL HB 5531 Limits Tuition Waivers for State University Employees Bill Failed - House (26 - 75)
March 29, 2012 SC H 4894 Authorizes Income Tax Credit for Tuition Payments Bill Passed - House (62 - 38)
March 29, 2012 NH HB 1607 Establishes a Tax Credit for Businesses that Donate to Certain Scholarship Funds Bill Passed - House (173 - 127)
March 28, 2012 AK SB 9 Extends Cumpulsory School Attendance Bill Passed - Senate (13 - 7)
March 28, 2012 IL HB 5290 Requires Schools to Establish Bullying Policies Bill Passed - House (61 - 49)
March 27, 2012 LA HB 969 Establishes Tax Deductions for Donating to Scholarship Programs Bill Passed - House (66 - 37)
March 26, 2012 TN HB 368 Scientific Theories in the Classroom Concurrence Vote Passed - House (72 - 23)
March 26, 2012 GA HB 797 Establishes a State Charter School Commission Bill Passed - Senate (38 - 14)
March 23, 2012 ID H 426 Establishes a Program for High School Students to Obtain an Associate's Degree Concurrence Vote Passed - House (59 - 6)
March 23, 2012 ID H 426 Establishes a Program for High School Students to Obtain an Associate's Degree Concurrence Vote Passed - House (59 - 6)
March 23, 2012 LA HB 974 Amends Teacher Tenure Policy Bill Passed - House (64 - 40)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/13 SB 865 Authorizes Local Officials to Solve Fiscal Crisis Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
12/12 SB 865 Authorizes Local Officials to Solve Fiscal Crisis Bill Passed - House (64 - 45)
10/16 SB 1115 Amends Charter School Laws Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (33 - 16)
8/29 AB 2132 Encourages State Universities to Include Public Service in Tenure Policy Concurrence Vote Passed - House (51 - 27)
8/28 AB 2132 Encourages State Universities to Include Public Service in Tenure Policy Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 14)
8/15 SB 1040 Amends Teacher Pension Plans Concurrence Vote Passed - House (57 - 48)
8/15 SB 1040 Amends Teacher Pension Plans Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (21 - 16)
7/18 SB 1040 Amends Teacher Pension Plans Concurrence Vote Failed - Senate (16 - 22)
6/30 SB 1115 Amends Charter School Laws Bill Passed - House (120 - 77)
6/28 HB 1307 Authorizes State Control of Financially Distressed Schools Concurrence Vote Passed - House (106 - 95)
6/26 H 4497 Authorizes Information On and Access to the HPV Vaccine Veto Override Failed - House (54 - 47)
6/21 S 7722A Authorizes Special Education Tuition Reimbursement Bill Passed - House (93 - 50)
6/21 S 7722A Authorizes Special Education Tuition Reimbursement Bill Passed - Senate (47 - 13)
6/19 HB 1307 Authorizes State Control of Financially Distressed Schools Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 21)
6/19 S Amdt 2156 Increases Funding for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Amendment Rejected - Senate (33 - 66)
6/18 HB 7 Authorizes Community Colleges to Opt Out of Federal Loan Program Veto Override Passed - Senate (31 - 16)
6/14 HB 7 Authorizes Community Colleges to Opt Out of Federal Loan Program Veto Override Passed - House (71 - 46)
6/14 SB 1040 Amends Teacher Pension Plans Bill Passed - House (57 - 47)
6/13 SB 316 Amends Education Provisions Bill Passed - House (56 - 35)
6/06 CACR 12 Legislative Authority of Education Requirements Conference Report Rejected - House (224 - 144)
6/06 CACR 12 Legislative Authority of Education Requirements Conference Report Adopted - Senate (17 - 6)
6/06 SB 620 Authorizes the Conversion of Certain Schools Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 18)
6/05 HB 5372 School Aid Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (21 - 17)
6/05 HB 5372 School Aid Budget Conference Report Adopted - Senate (21 - 17)
6/04 SCR 99 Funding for Public and Private Schools Conference Report Adopted - House (51 - 49)
6/04 SB 795 Amends Teacher Tenure System Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 17)
6/03 SCR 99 Funding for Public and Private Schools Conference Report Adopted - Senate (24 - 15)
6/01 HB 5372 School Aid Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (58 - 51)
6/01 HB 5372 School Aid Budget Conference Report Adopted - House (58 - 51)
5/31 HB 5440 Establishes a 5 Percent Fee on Satellite TV Companies Bill Passed - Senate (30 - 27)
5/31 SB 2621 Amends the Department of Corrections' Early Release Program Bill Passed - House (68 - 50)
5/31 SB 1525 Establishes a Student Athlete Bill of Rights Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 14)
5/31 HB 4513 Increases Minimum Age for Beginning Kindergarten Bill Passed - House (64 - 45)
5/29 HB 5290 Requires Schools to Establish Bullying Policies Bill Failed - Senate (29 - 21)
5/24 S 2343 Extends Student Loan Interest Rates (Reid Bill) Bill Failed - Senate (51 - 43)
5/24 S Amdt 2153 Prohibits Increase in Interest Rates for Student Loans (Lamar Bill) Amendment Rejected - Senate (34 - 62)
5/22 HB 292 School Board Member Term Limits Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 16)
5/17 SB 1040 Amends Teacher Pension Plans Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 18)
5/16 HB 658 Amends Immigration Regulations Concurrence Vote Passed - House (67 - 37)
5/16 HB 658 Amends Immigration Regulations Concurrence Vote Passed - House (67 - 37)
5/16 HB 658 Amends Immigration Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 7)
5/16 HB 1607 Establishes a Tax Credit for Businesses that Donate to Certain Scholarship Funds Bill Passed - Senate (17 - 7)
5/16 HB 658 Amends Immigration Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 7)
5/15 SB 576 Authorizes the Expansion of Charter Schools Bill Passed - House (99 - 54)
5/15 SB 576 Authorizes the Expansion of Charter Schools Bill Passed - House (99 - 54)
5/10 HB 360 Requires Schools to Have a Longer Summer Vacation Veto Override Passed - Senate (23 - 8)
5/08 HB 360 Requires Schools to Have a Longer Summer Vacation Veto Override Passed - House (71 - 21)
5/08 SF 2284 Education Law Amendments Conference Report Adopted - House (87 - 9)
5/08 SF 2284 Education Law Amendments Conference Report Adopted - Senate (31 - 15)
5/08 S 2343 Extends Student Loan Interest Rates (Reid Bill) Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (52 - 45)
5/03 King Amendment Amends the State Retirement System for New Public Employees Amendment Rejected - Senate (20 - 20)
5/03 King Amendment Amends the State Retirement System for New Public Employees Amendment Rejected - Senate (20 - 20)
5/03 HB 1526 Amends Teacher Dismissal Policies Bill Passed - House (83 - 76)
5/02 SB 619 Cyber Schools Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (23 - 14)
5/02 HB 1383 Prohibits In-State Tuition for Non-US Residents Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 5)
5/02 SB 513 Authorizes Charter Schools Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 12)
5/01 HB 360 Requires Schools to Have a Longer Summer Vacation Concurrence Vote Passed - House (58 - 36)
5/01 HB 360 Requires Schools to Have a Longer Summer Vacation Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 10)
5/01 SB 619 Cyber Schools Bill Passed - House (57 - 52)
4/30 SB 3597 Prohibits Discrimination Against Religious Student Groups at Public Universities Bill Passed - House (61 - 22)
4/30 SB 3597 Prohibits Discrimination Against Religious Student Groups at Public Universities Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 12)
4/27 SB 3310 Requires Abstinence-Centered Sex Education in Schools Bill Passed - House (68 - 23)
4/27 HR 4628 Extending Student Loan Interest Rates Bill Passed - House (215 - 195)
4/26 HB 2566 Increases Kindergarten Age Requirements Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 10)
4/25 HB 2566 Increases Kindergarten Age Requirements Bill Passed - House (68 - 30)
4/19 HB 658 Amends Immigration Regulations Bill Passed - House (64 - 34)
4/19 HB 658 Amends Immigration Regulations Bill Passed - House (64 - 34)
4/16 SB 3345 Limits the Number of Foreign Nationals that May Work in a Charter School Bill Passed - House (63 - 29)
4/16 SB 2514 Amends Eligibility Requirements for the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 10)
4/12 SB 3345 Limits the Number of Foreign Nationals that May Work in a Charter School Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 13)
4/11 SB 5940 Amends Public School Employees Retirement Benefits Bill Passed - House (53 - 45)
4/11 SB 5940 Amends Public School Employees Retirement Benefits Bill Passed - House (53 - 45)
4/11 SB 5940 Amends Public School Employees Retirement Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 20)
4/11 SB 5940 Amends Public School Employees Retirement Benefits Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 20)
4/10 SB 2115 Amends Charter School System Bill Passed - House (40 - 11)
4/10 HB 707 Requires Schools to Have a Longer Summer Vacation Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 21)
4/10 SB 68 Prohibits Food with Trans Fat in Schools Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 17)
4/09 SF 2284 Education Law Amendments Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 24)
4/09 SB 15 College Tuition Rates for Undocumented Immigrants Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 14)
4/05 HB 974 Amends Teacher Tenure Policy Concurrence Vote Passed - House (60 - 43)
4/05 HB 976 Amends School Voucher Program Concurrence Vote Passed - House (60 - 43)
4/05 HB 373 Raises the Dropout Age for Public School Students Bill Passed - House (88 - 49)
4/04 HB 976 Amends School Voucher Program Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 15)
4/04 HB 974 Amends Teacher Tenure Policy Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 16)
4/02 HF 2083 Requires State Reserve Funds to be Used to Reduce School Debt Conference Report Adopted - Senate (35 - 28)
4/02 HF 2083 Requires State Reserve Funds to be Used to Reduce School Debt Conference Report Adopted - House (75 - 56)
3/29 HB 797 Establishes a State Charter School Commission Concurrence Vote Passed - House (117 - 55)
3/29 SB 410 Requires Numerical School Ratings Based on Student Performance Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (38 - 16)
3/29 SB 410 Requires Numerical School Ratings Based on Student Performance Bill Passed - House (94 - 67)
3/29 HB 5531 Limits Tuition Waivers for State University Employees Bill Failed - House (26 - 75)
3/29 H 4894 Authorizes Income Tax Credit for Tuition Payments Bill Passed - House (62 - 38)
3/29 HB 1607 Establishes a Tax Credit for Businesses that Donate to Certain Scholarship Funds Bill Passed - House (173 - 127)
3/28 SB 9 Extends Cumpulsory School Attendance Bill Passed - Senate (13 - 7)
3/28 HB 5290 Requires Schools to Establish Bullying Policies Bill Passed - House (61 - 49)
3/27 HB 969 Establishes Tax Deductions for Donating to Scholarship Programs Bill Passed - House (66 - 37)
3/26 HB 368 Scientific Theories in the Classroom Concurrence Vote Passed - House (72 - 23)
3/26 HB 797 Establishes a State Charter School Commission Bill Passed - Senate (38 - 14)
3/23 H 426 Establishes a Program for High School Students to Obtain an Associate's Degree Concurrence Vote Passed - House (59 - 6)
3/23 H 426 Establishes a Program for High School Students to Obtain an Associate's Degree Concurrence Vote Passed - House (59 - 6)
3/23 HB 974 Amends Teacher Tenure Policy Bill Passed - House (64 - 40)

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