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NEW WEBSITE ALLOWS USERS TO TRACK LOBBYING INFLUENCE ACROSS 17 STATES

Database of over 13 million positions shows how organizations attempt to influence state bills


PROVIDENCE — March 13, 2024 — A new website launched by Brown University’s Climate and Development Lab allows users to search and visualize lobbying and testimony positions in state legislatures. The website offers researchers, journalists, and the public a user-friendly platform to explore CHORUS (Dataset on Policy Choice and Organizational Representation in the United States), the first systematic dataset of lobbying and testimony positions in 17 state legislatures. 



The dataset tracks approximately 13 million positions taken on state legislation across 17 states from as far back as 1997 and up to 2022. The site and accompanying dataset offer unparalleled access for understanding what bills and issues organizations try to influence, and in particular highlights which bills organizations oppose and support. The website also shows coalitions of organizations, calculated using a network analysis algorithm, to visualize which organizations align and disagree on different issues. The site is being made available free to users. 


“This site represents a leap forward in transparency on how state government works,” said

Timmons Roberts, Director of Brown’s Climate and Development Lab. “Most of the lobbying goes on behind the scenes, and records are hard to find and interpret. People who have been to their state capital and seen the action, or supported their favorite cause, or who cover state politics all can learn from howdotheylobby.org.”


The CHORUS dataset was created using publicly available data from state legislature websites. An academic article introducing the dataset, authored by Galen Hall, Joshua A. Basseches, Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo and Trevor Culhane, is currently in press at State Politics and Policy Quarterly.


The website is available at howdotheylobby.org. There is also a tutorial on how to use the site available here.


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