LEAP Forward uses BillTrack50, a platform that provides tools to track legislation and helps projects like this one share information about this legislation and lawmakers at both the state and federal level.
The Report Card
Each state’s report card is broken down into tabs - Summary, Legislation, Bill Score, Vote Index, House, and Senate. These tabs contain all the information LEAP Forward has compiled on selected legislation in each legislative body in the country, along with links to state legislative websites and BillTrack’s individual legislator pages.
For more on how bills are selected for inclusion, please see “How are grades calculated?
The Summary Tab
The Summary tab contains an overview of the current legislative session. Columns include the name of each legislator in the body, their party affiliation, which chamber they belong to, and their district. Legislators are hyperlinked for more detail on their record, as well as links to social media accounts and contact information.
Possible Vote Score indicates the maximum score members could acheive on votes alone.
Vote Index is what percentage of actual votes taken - both in committee and on the floor - align with LEAP Forward’s grading of individual bills.
Total score is an aggregate of positive or negative actions legislators took on graded legislation - not only votes, but sponsorship as well
The Legislation TAb
This tab shows the list of bills scored by LEAP Foward (with hyperlinks to a detailed view of each piece of legislation). This data is updated automatically via BillTrack, which culls information directly from state legislative websites.
The dropdown menu in the upper right enables the user to filter by category.
In addition to the bill number and name, the tab includes sortable columns for:
Last Action and action date - the most recent legislative action on the bill
Vote rating and sponsor rating - the score attached to each bill by LEAP Forward.
Categories - using the Denver Accord provisions
Comments - editable as necessary
The Bill Score Tab
This tab again shows the list of legislators in addition to their total scores and scores broken down by bill. It is sortable by individual bill, and the dropdown menu in the upper right enables users to filter by category.
The Vote Index Tab
This tab is a bar graph of vote index scores that enables the user to see the level of polarization in a particular house and spot outliers more easily than the list view.
Hovering over a bar will enable the user to see the name, score and district of that member.
The House and Senate Tabs
These tabs contain color coded heat maps for each member’s district based on their overall score. At the top, the highest, lowest and average scores for the chamber as a whole as well as for the party’s individual caucuses are displayed.
On hover, information on the district is shown, and the maps can be zoomed.