Senate Votes, PA Laws and Lobbyist Reports Posted Online
Pennsylvania Senate votes, debates, bills and statutes, as well as live video of Senate floor activity, can be accessed online. Citizens can read bills and amendments, review text of floor debates, and see how senators voted. Information is available for votes in committee and the full Senate.
Citizens can also track who is lobbying, who individual lobbyists are representing, and how they are spending their money. They can also see the number of clients each lobbyist has and what each one is spending per client.
State contracts are posted online as well, allowing citizens to search for contracts by agency, contracting party, amount, date and subject matter.
How To View Senate Votes and Debates
There are three ways to find and view bills, as well as how legislators voted: by bill number, keyword or date.
Viewing bills and votes by bill number
Go to the official Pennsylvania State Senate website and in the upper right corner select “Bill #.” Enter a bill number (e.g. “sb968” for “Senate Bill 968,” or “hb906” for “House Bill 906”). Click “Go!”This takes you to a “Bill Information” page. From this page, you can read: a “bill history” charting the legislation’s movements through the General Assembly; floor votes and committee votes; and text of the legislation, in its current form (Current PN) and prior versions (Prior PN).
Viewing bills and votes by keywords
Go to the Pennsylvania State Senate site and in the upper right corner select “Keyword.” Enter a keyword(s) (e.g. “agriculture”), click “Go!”, and a list of bills containing the keyword will be displayed. From there, you can access “Bill Information,” as described above.
Viewing bills and votes by date
Go to the Pennsylvania State Senate site and under “Senate Information” click on Senate Roll Call Votes, which lists activity by date. After selecting a date, you’ll see each bill or motion listed. By clicking on the link you’ll be able to view the vote tally as well as how each member voted.”Senate Information” also lists votes cast in committee, and amendments considered on the Senate floor.
To read transcripts of debates and other activity from the floor of the Senate, click on Senate Legislative Journals, which are posted by date. (Journals are posted upon Senate approval or within 45 days, whichever is earlier.)
The Journals chronicle each day’s activity on the floor of the Senate, including communications with the House of Representatives and Governor’s Office, amendments offered on the floor, remarks by senators, debates and vote tallies.
How to Search Pennsylvania Statutes
To look up statutes, go to the official Pennsylvania General Assembly website and look for “Law Information.” From there you can choose from enacted legislation, rules and regulations, the PA Bulletin, Legislative Reference Bureau and Consolidated Statutes.
You can search by year, legislative session, act number, or type of legislation. You can even view bills that were vetoed before becoming law.
You can keep tabs on the state budget, spending, revenue, employees and performance at PennWATCH.
The site also features links to Right to Know Law information, State Purchases, Lobbyist Registration & Reports and Campaign Finance Reports.