2016 Wrap-up, Political Eye Candy Style

12.20.16

It’s the time of year that I like to look back at the year that just finished. The special session in North Carolina that saw 30 bills introduced in the waning days of 2016 could be considered the cherry on top what can safely be called a very surprising year in American politics. We here at BillTrack50 were busier than ever, …
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How Collaborative Is Your State?

08.19.16

For a state to create a new law, a bill proposing the idea must be introduced by a legislator. The idea may or may not have originated with that particular legislator, but the legislator will need to officially “sponsor” it. A bill can have just one sponsor, or multiple sponsors. Intuitively you would expect more sponsors would …
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New Vote Breakdown Political Eye Candy

07.06.16

Wouldn’t it be great to have a snazzy graphic for each and every vote a state legislature takes, so you can quickly assess what’s just gone down? Well dream no more! We have added a new vote summary graphic to our vote detail window. Here’s how it works. When you look a bill on BillTrack50 …
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Topics of Interest, 2016 edition

03.26.16

We have had about 200k visitors so far in 2016, and they’ve come looking for a wide variety topics, bills, and legislators. We here at Political Eye Candy like to take an occasional look at what people are looking for and share it with you. This time we even have a little twist for you. First, …
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Quick look at Legislator Gender Statistics

12.02.15

The men and women that represent us, how many are there? Specifically, how many men vs how many women? Across the states, territories, DC, and Congress, there are just over 6000 men representing us and just under 2000 women. If you factor in party affiliation, the pie chart looks like this: And here’s the breakdown by …
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Comparing how Committees work by State

07.23.15

I find it interesting how much the political process can vary by state. We’ve taken a look at how many bills there are, how wordy those bills are, how states use amendments, how long it takes a bill to pass, how legislators vote, and so on.  This post will tackle another big part of the …
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Comparing States by Counting Bills – 2015 update

06.20.15

A few years ago I looked at how many bills various states introduce and pass, and was surprised to see how different different states can be. That has been the basic theme of Political Eye Candy ever since. I’ve had a few requests to update those numbers so I thought I’d take a look and …
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A brief look at topics of interest in 2015

04.27.15

It’s always fun to take a look at what people are searching for. Here’s a word cloud of search terms for 2015 to date: We’ll be doing a blog post on plastic bags in the next few weeks. Because we also are wondering what’s up with that. Second here’s a look at what bills people …
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A look at parties over the years

03.24.15

You may remember a little while ago we had an election which seemed to have an impact on party breakdown across the states. Now that most of the bills that are going to be introduced this year have been introduced, I thought I would take a look at the impact of party of the years. …
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If You Come To A Fork In Your Advocacy Campaign, Take It

02.27.15

To paraphrase the great American philosopher Yogi Berra  —  Advocacy is 90% strategy and planning, and the other half is execution. How true that is.  We all know that any strategy is only as good as its execution, and that flawless execution of poorly planned strategy still leads to poor results.  Which is why I …
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A look at 2015, legislators and legislation

02.15.15

As you may recall, we recently had an election. Let’s start with a look at how the houses and senates now break down across the country (note Nebraska legislators don’t have an official party). First, the lower chambers: and the upper chambers: As you can see the breakdown between the states is similar, but not …
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2014 Wrap up and top 5 lists

12.31.14

We had a great year 2014 at BillTrack50.  Over 4.2 million bills were served on our site, and we surpassed 10,000 registered users. We are thrilled to be able to inform so many people about topics they care about. Speaking of topics people care about, the top search terms were similar this year to last …
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The Value of Quality Campaign Data — Guest post from KnowWho

11.20.14

This post comes to us from the amazing folks at KnowWho. If you like our legislator pages then you already love KnowWho   The Value of Quality Campaign Data Quality campaign data comes in several forms depending on your particular need, and KnowWho’s data covers those needs with accurate political ratings and comprehensive contact information …
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The BillTrack50 database, sliced and diced

07.15.14

  BillTrack50 was founded in 2011, and lwe aunched our website in early 2012. Since then we’ve accumulated quite a bit of data, a lot of which I’ve previously given you a look in this Eye Candy blog series. What I haven’t done is a simple overview of the entire database. Let’s take a look, …
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Legislating Family Matters

05.31.14

Ronald Reagan famously said: “The family has always been the cornerstone of American society. Our families nurture, preserve, and pass on to each succeeding generation the values we share and cherish, values that are the foundation of our freedoms.” Whether you agree or not, there is no denying that American politics today certainly concerns itself …
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How resolute are the states?

05.19.14

If you read this blog, and I hope you do, you’re familiar with the basic landscape of how many bills each state introduces.  Here’s a map of how much legislation was introduced in each state in 2013 (when all the states were in session): However, this map includes both bills and resolutions. Some states use …
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Bill Progress by State — a look at the legislative process

05.12.14

To celebrate rolling out our newest feature, filtering by bill progress, we are taking a look at bill progress across the states. The following analysis is about bills introduced since the beginning of 2014 through now (May 2014).  Note MT, ND, NV, and TX are out of session this year, and NC has not started …
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Track educator policy legislation in SREB states

04.07.14

One of our favorite customers recently included this amazing (interactive!) eye candy in their monthly newsletter. I’m republishing it here with permission. I hope you click through to actually play with the tool. Inspirational stuff!   Track educator policy legislation in SREB states Policies concerning effective teaching have remained prominent on the legislative agendas of …
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BillTrack50 Early 2014 Topics of Interest

02.09.14

The 2014 session is already, statistically, about halfway done. We’ve seen well over 40,000 bills introduced in the last six weeks. Seems like a good time to take a quick peek at the topics that have been interesting to our users. To start with, here’s a word cloud of the topics that have been covered …
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2013 Wrap Up – a look at BillTrack50 and our esteemed users

12.29.13

2013 saw lots of legislative action, if not at the federal level, certainly at the state level. BillTrack50 saw lots of action too; we are proud to have served nearly three and a half million bills to our users this year, and given results on over a quarter of a million searches. Over the summer …
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