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. 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. 14, 2012 MI SB 756 Prohibits Teens from Using Cell Phones While Driving Bill Passed - House (74 - 33)
Oct. 18, 2012 NJ A 1711 Increases Penalties for Failing to Secure a Child in a Car Seat Bill Passed - House (63 - 16)
Oct. 17, 2012 PA SB 850 Repeals Mandatory Life Sentences for Certain Juvenile Offenders Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (37 - 12)
Oct. 17, 2012 PA HB 815 Reduces the Offense of "Sexting" for Minors Bill Passed - Senate (37 - 12)
Aug. 30, 2012 CA SB 1172 Prohibits Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (23 - 13)
Aug. 28, 2012 CA SB 1172 Prohibits Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy Bill Passed - House (52 - 22)
Aug. 27, 2012 CA AB 1640 Expands Cash Assistance Programs for Pregnant Teenagers Concurrence Vote Passed - House (54 - 26)
Aug. 22, 2012 CA AB 1640 Expands Cash Assistance Programs for Pregnant Teenagers Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 12)
Aug. 20, 2012 CA SB 9 Sentence Reconsideration for Juvenile Offenders Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (21 - 17)
Aug. 16, 2012 CA SB 9 Sentence Reconsideration for Juvenile Offenders Bill Passed - House (41 - 34)
June 21, 2012 NJ A 1571 Increases Requirements for Learner's Permits Bill Passed - House (50 - 27)
May 31, 2012 MI HB 4513 Increases Minimum Age for Beginning Kindergarten Bill Passed - House (64 - 45)
May 30, 2012 CA SB 1172 Prohibits Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 13)
May 30, 2012 MA H 3986 Authorizes Child Care Workers to Form Labor Organizations Bill Passed - House (117 - 32)
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 18, 2012 AZ HB 2154 Requires Car Seats for Certain Children Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 10)
April 11, 2012 NE LB 599 Prenatal Care for Children of Undocumented Immigrants Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 15)
April 10, 2012 MS SB 2771 Expands Penalties for Child Homicide Bill Passed - House (83 - 34)
April 5, 2012 CO HB 1271 Repeals Direct Filing of Juveniles by Prosecutors Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 13)
April 5, 2012 MD HB 373 Raises the Dropout Age for Public School Students Bill Passed - House (88 - 49)
April 3, 2012 AZ HB 2348 Prohibits Cell Phone Use by Teens While Driving Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 11)
March 19, 2012 CO HB 1271 Repeals Direct Filing of Juveniles by Prosecutors Bill Passed - House (45 - 20)
March 15, 2012 MI SB 756 Prohibits Teens from Using Cell Phones While Driving Bill Passed - Senate (28 - 10)
March 14, 2012 MD SB 559 Prohibits Smoking in a Vehicle with Children Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 19)
March 13, 2012 RI S 2322 Prohibits The Use Of Tanning Facilities By Minors Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 8)
March 1, 2012 AZ HB 2154 Requires Car Seats for Certain Children Bill Passed - House (38 - 17)
Feb. 22, 2012 UT SB 41 Authorizes Regulations of Tanning Facilities Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 9)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/14 SB 756 Prohibits Teens from Using Cell Phones While Driving Bill Passed - House (74 - 33)
10/18 A 1711 Increases Penalties for Failing to Secure a Child in a Car Seat Bill Passed - House (63 - 16)
10/17 SB 850 Repeals Mandatory Life Sentences for Certain Juvenile Offenders Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (37 - 12)
10/17 HB 815 Reduces the Offense of "Sexting" for Minors Bill Passed - Senate (37 - 12)
8/30 SB 1172 Prohibits Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (23 - 13)
8/28 SB 1172 Prohibits Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy Bill Passed - House (52 - 22)
8/27 AB 1640 Expands Cash Assistance Programs for Pregnant Teenagers Concurrence Vote Passed - House (54 - 26)
8/22 AB 1640 Expands Cash Assistance Programs for Pregnant Teenagers Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 12)
8/20 SB 9 Sentence Reconsideration for Juvenile Offenders Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (21 - 17)
8/16 SB 9 Sentence Reconsideration for Juvenile Offenders Bill Passed - House (41 - 34)
6/21 A 1571 Increases Requirements for Learner's Permits Bill Passed - House (50 - 27)
5/31 HB 4513 Increases Minimum Age for Beginning Kindergarten Bill Passed - House (64 - 45)
5/30 SB 1172 Prohibits Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 13)
5/30 H 3986 Authorizes Child Care Workers to Form Labor Organizations Bill Passed - House (117 - 32)
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)
4/18 HB 2154 Requires Car Seats for Certain Children Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 10)
4/11 LB 599 Prenatal Care for Children of Undocumented Immigrants Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 15)
4/10 SB 2771 Expands Penalties for Child Homicide Bill Passed - House (83 - 34)
4/05 HB 1271 Repeals Direct Filing of Juveniles by Prosecutors Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 13)
4/05 HB 373 Raises the Dropout Age for Public School Students Bill Passed - House (88 - 49)
4/03 HB 2348 Prohibits Cell Phone Use by Teens While Driving Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 11)
3/19 HB 1271 Repeals Direct Filing of Juveniles by Prosecutors Bill Passed - House (45 - 20)
3/15 SB 756 Prohibits Teens from Using Cell Phones While Driving Bill Passed - Senate (28 - 10)
3/14 SB 559 Prohibits Smoking in a Vehicle with Children Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 19)
3/13 S 2322 Prohibits The Use Of Tanning Facilities By Minors Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 8)
3/01 HB 2154 Requires Car Seats for Certain Children Bill Passed - House (38 - 17)
2/22 SB 41 Authorizes Regulations of Tanning Facilities Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 9)

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