Support/Opposition

Data source: LegInfo and MapLight research team

Our database includes which interest groups, companies, and organizations support and oppose key bills in the California State Legislature. For each bill, our in-house research team uses public record sources such as LegInfo, hearing testimony, news databases, and trade associations’ websites to determine:

  1. Organizations in support or opposition: For example, California Teachers Association or the California Chamber of Commerce.
  2. Interest groups in support or opposition: Industry categories, such as Teachers Unions or chambers of commerce.

For example, the California State Legislature passed a bill (AB 2042) prohibiting health insurers from altering the rates and benefits associated with individual health insurance policies more than once each calendar year. We found that the bill was supported and opposed by the following organizations and industries:

Support:

Oppose:

Organizations: Organizations:

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
California Chiropractic Association
California Congress of Seniors
California School Employees Association/Csea
California Teachers Association
Consumers Union
Health Access

Anthem Blue Cross
Association of California Life and Health Insurance Companies
Blue Shield of California
California Association of Health Plans
California Association of Health Underwriters
Health Net

Industries: Industries:

State & local government employee unions
Teachers unions
Chiropractors
Consumer groups
Elderly issues & Social Security

Accident & health insurance
Insurance agencies, brokers & agents
Life insurance

For each organization we find that supports or opposes a bill, we record a citation of where we found this information, and you can view these citations on our site. If an organization supports a particular policy, and that policy is offered as a bill (or amendment), we will list the organization as supporting that bill (or amendment), even if the organization has not made a statement about that bill (or amendment) specifically.

For example, this article reporting on Koch Industries’ support of Proposition 23 does not explicitly mention the organization’s support of any bill. However, its support for the proposition, which is tied to a bill (AB 32 – The Global Warming Solutions Act), is explicit and obvious enough to merit citing Koch Industries as supporting this bill.

Our research team has researched support/opposition data for hundreds of votes on key bills in the California State Legislature. We gather this data for newsworthy bills: bills that move forward in the Legislature or that are mentioned in the news or blogs. We do not research support/opposition for ceremonial bills (such as commemorating anniversaries). Every bill is published on our site, even ceremonial ones, but not all bills include our original research on support/opposition.

By itself, our support and opposition information gives timely insight into what is really at stake for bills in the State Legislature, quickly orienting readers to the interest groups behind legislation. It is often difficult to understand the true intent and beneficiaries of legislation. MapLight’s unique data provides valuable signposts, showing who is on which side.

Even more significantly, our data provides the “glue” to connect political inputs (such as campaign contributions and lobbying) to political outputs (such as contracts and legislation). A vital part of making the transparency movement useful to ordinary people is connecting government information with the specific issues that people care about. MapLight’s data links campaign dollars to relevant issues with everyday impact—prescription drugs, gas prices, credit cards, and more.