FiscalNote's product team has given all users an advantage when working with legislation. Whether lobbying, tracking bills for clients, or performing historical research, each bill page contains useful advanced metrics and information. Follow the tips below to learn how to review the Outlook's passage probability score, compare different versions and browse similar bills previously introduced, or prepare mailing lists to officials based on how they may vote.
One of FiscalNote's more advanced features, the FN Outlook compiles numerous statistics to give you an understanding of each bill's probability of passage, step by step along the legislative process. As shown below for NY A 5358, FiscalNote factors in the sponsor(s) general effectiveness at passing legislation they introduce, party alignment within committee and chamber, and probability of passage based on similar legislation introduced in the past:
The analysis shows that none of the sponsors hold leadership positions or are in the committee it has been assigned to, and the sponsor is not in the majority party of the NY Assembly. Thanks to FiscalNote's advanced machine learning, we also know that all bills introduced in the past with similar language have failed. Thus, the Outlook tells us that NY A 5358 is unlikely to survive.
What to do with the analysis:
While we can't argue that it's an exact science -- humans are unpredictable, after all -- the Outlook has proven highly effective in determining the level of response effort required. For example, in the above scenario, if it is understood we oppose NY A 5358, we may take some comfort in understanding that our efforts can be focused elsewhere for the time being. If the probability of this bill passing was more of a coin-flip, we may want to allocate more resources and efforts to blocking this bill than others.
The second tab on each bill page provides critical information, such as links to the full text version and amendments, as well as a list of bills previously introduced that have similar language:
What to do:
- Scroll through the Documents tab to find past versions of the active bill to understand how it might have changed over time. Click on other documentation to gain intel, such as committee-provided analysis as shown here:
- Use the Similar Bills drop-down menu to discover how similar legislation may have fared in the past, and gain a better understanding of how this bill may fare as a result:
In the above example, we now understand that NY A 5358 has been reintroduced from previous failed attempts -- both matches have a 100% text similarity match and both were left as Sine Die - Failed. Both were also referred to the Insurance committee, where NY A 5358 now stands. If we oppose this bill, time can be better spent responding to other potentially impactful policy, at least for the time being.
*Keep in mind -- FiscalNote will only show similar bills from past sessions if the language match is 70% or higher.
The Whipboard is a unique FiscalNote feature that combines the best of both worlds: your knowledge and FiscalNote's machine-learning analysis. Should NY A 5358 move to a vote in the Assembly, FiscalNote provides a prepared list of how legislators may vote based on a number of factors, such as party alignment and voting history:
What to do:
Drag an official's name to another column if you have information on how they may actually vote. Save when done so you and/or your team can reference this list in the future. Export the list if you need to perform any research and documentation outside of FiscalNote:
If the bill is brought to a vote, use the saved positions create a Mailing List and contact the officials you wish to sway in your favor. In the scenario in which we oppose NY A 5358, we would want to mail all officials and urge them to vote 'Nay', as all are listed in the 'Lean Yes' or 'Yes' columns.
*Click here to learn more about Mailing Lists.