Data source: Wisconsin Government Accountability Board and MapLight research team

Our database includes which interest groups, companies, and organizations support and oppose key bills in the Wisconsin State Legislature. For each bill, our in-house research team uses the GAB lobbying records, hearing testimony, news databases, and trade associations’ websites to determine:

  1. Organizations in support or opposition: For example, Wisconsin Nurses Association or Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.
  2. Interest groups in support or opposition: Industry categories, such as health worker unions or general business associations.

For example, the Wisconsin State Legislature passed a bill (AB 314) requiring railroads to provide notification to their employees prior to applying pesticides and to provide annual safety training to employees who could be exposed to railroad-used pesticides. We found that the bill was supported and opposed by the following organizations and industries:



Organizations: Organizations:

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen
Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division, IBT
League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Fund Inc
Sierra Club - John Muir Chapter
United Transportation Union
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters
Wisconsin Nurses Association
Wisconsin State AFL-CIO
Wisconsin Teamsters Joint Council 39

BNSF Railway
Canadian Pacific Railway
CropLife America
Union Pacific Railroad Company
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce
Wisconsin Southern Railroad Company

Industries: Industries:

Teamsters union
Railroad unions
Women's issues
Health worker unions
Labor unions
Environmental policy
Transportation unions

General business associations
Agricultural chemicals (fertilizers & pesticides)

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.

Our research team has researched support/opposition data for hundreds of votes on key bills in the Wisconsin 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.