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What's New in Key Votes

31 July 2007
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If you want to know what's happening in Congress, you came to the right place. Project Vote Smart has 67 Congressional votes up on the website. Some topics of these votes are votes are a minimum wage increase, an embryonic stem cell research bill, immigration, Guantanamo Bay detainee transfers, human cloning, funding for the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly the School of the Americas), and troop reductions in Iraq. Some recent votes Congress has taken address funding for Amtrak, a statement of U.S. policy that permanent military bases may not be built in Iraq, increased funding for border security, and an amendment to a bill stating that the funds in that bill cannot be used to prevent states from implementing laws authorizing the use of medical marijuana.

To find Congressional votes on our website, just drag your mouse over "Issues and Legislation" on the top of the screen and click CongressTrack: Key Votes on the dropdown menu that appears. On our website you can search for Congressional votes by bill number, category, or keyword. You can also choose to see all of the votes Project Vote Smart has posted in a given year by selecting "All Bills" in the category drop down list and look through them all. Have any questions about any of these bills? Don't hesitate to call our hotline at 1-888-VOTE-SMART (1-888-868-3762) and we will be more than happy to help you with your query.

Our Key Votes Department doesn't stop at Congress, though. We cover state votes, too. To find votes for your state, drag your mouse over "Issues and Legislation" on the top of our website and click on State Key Votes on the drop down menu that appears. Next, simply select your state from the list in the middle of the screen or from the drop down list in the blue stripe on the left side of your screen. As with Congressional, you can search for state votes by category, bill number, or keyword. You can also see all the votes that we have posted this year or last year by selecting "All Bills" in the category drop down menu. This is only the second year we have been covering state votes, and we are very excited about this young part of our Key Vote Program.

"But what's happening in the state legislatures?" you ask. There have been many multi-state trends. Many states have voted on legislation addressing health care and other benefits for domestic partners of employees. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has been made mandatory for middle school-age girls in many states. Many states have passed legislation that will enter them into a compact with other states in which each state allocates their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, rather than the winner of that particular state's popular vote. Many states are establishing or expanding smoking bans. Some are legalizing medical marijuana. Leasing lotteries and other state operations to private entities has been a significant trend this year, as well. Toll roads are also becoming trendy. In fact, in Pennsylvania, the establishment of a toll on I-80 was a very contentious piece of legislation. Several states changed their identification requirements for voting. And health care has been at the top of the agenda in many states nationwide.

What's happening in your state? Check out our State Key Votes section on our website and find out.

Related tags: blog, key-votes, state-level-votes

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