Data Mining for Legislative Influence

If you want to learn about the process of getting a proposed bill passed, you can read the official explanation on a state senate site. It’s remarkably similar to the steps involved for federal legislation, according to the explanation offered to the protagonist of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

 What the explanations don’t reveal, however, are the entities behind the proposed legislation.
The actual authors of proposed legislation don’t sign their names, but they do leave signatures of a sort, the signals of individual style that can be found throughout their written work. All it takes is reading through thousands of proposed bills to find the textual clues that link bills to the same source. The only drawback is coming up with the time it takes for humans to read through it all. But this is one problem that technology can solve.


Data for Good: Tracking Legislative Influence