The Legislative Watch’s database is now online and searchable for 2017 bills.

The Legislative Watch’s database has been made available online for anyone to search. It now contains 2017 bills, with the 2016 data having been archived.

Note that the “Votes” tab has no data as yet as the session doesn’t start until January 11, 2017.

Committee Vote Tracking

[photo, Michael E. Busch, House Speaker]

A question sometimes asked of us is, “Do you track committee votes?”  The answer is no and here’s why.

Committee votes are on the Maryland General Assembly (MGA) website in .pdf form.  A scan of the hand written vote sheet is with each bill that gets a vote.

There are two parts to a vote sheet.  At the top is how the chair calls the vote (favorable/unfavorable/etc.):

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Following is the vote by the committee (only the chair vote shown).  In this example, the, “Yea” is a vote against this bill.

voting committee

 

 

 

While floor votes are available in a format able to be gathered by our process, these handwritten tally sheets must be collected manually.

This vote is for a bill we covered.

While the Maryland General Assembly website has some good features, it is appalling in vote transparency.  Hence, the votes section of the website.

MD Legislators’ Voting Records for 2013 – we have them!

MD Legislators' Voting Records for 2013 - we have them!

Exciting news!  Maryland Legislative Watch is pleased to announce that we have the 2013 voting records for each Maryland Delegate and Senator!  As far as we know, this has never been done before.

Each record is linked and will display as a .pdf file.  Votes listed are floor votes, only.

Please take some time to view your representatives’ votes.  Does their rhetoric match their voting records?  How did they vote on issues important to you?

We are in the process of doing meaningful analysis on these votes but this is a long, labor intensive process so this will not come out for a couple months.

Notes:

  • First Reading means, “A bill as printed for the first time with its assigned bill number.”
  • Third Reading means, “A bill that is printed after second reading in the chamber of origin, including adopted committee or floor amendments.”
  • Special Orders means, “Floor action on a bill is postponed until a definite date or time.”
  • Any other terms you don’t understand?  The Maryland General Assembly (MGA) website has a, “legislative lingo” file that may answer your questions.
  • Third Reading may include amendment votes.  For bills with many amendments, e.g. SB 281, there will be many votes.  You’ll have to visit the MGA website for more details on those bills.
  • Don’t know who your representatives are?  Go to mdelect.net to find out.

These files are presented for information purposes by Maryland Legislative Watch.  Why  did we spend all this time and energy collecting this information?  We believe that sunshine is the best disinfectant.  Please use this information to research your current legislators and candidates.  Please also spread the word, so others may research their legislators and candidates.