- Finding Effective Legislators
- How to Find Similar Legislators
- Sharing Your Findings
- Investigating Legislators 1-Pager
At the state level in particular, with over 8,000 active legislators, understanding which ones to monitor or partner with can seem like a tall task. FiscalNote takes the stress away with a number of unique tools to help you find the legislators you need.
Finding Effective Legislators
Particularly for Government Affairs teams, establishing partnerships with the right stakeholders can be the most important part of the job. In many cases, those stakeholders are elected officials. FiscalNote helps you with the first step in the process: knowing who the right legislators to partner with are based on past success, relative to their peers.
If looking for successful lawmakers in a particular topic or industry, start with performing an Empty Search in the Search bar. Select Legislators under either Federal or State, then click 'Search':
Use Filters on the left of the search results screen to focus your results. For example, if hunting for successful Delegates in Maryland on Transportation topics, take the following steps:
- Choose the state from Legislatures (Maryland)
- Pick the Chamber (House)
- Select the topic from Effectiveness (Transportation)
- Choose Most Effective within the Effectiveness Filter
Legislators will be listed in order of effectiveness. If anyone warrants further investigation, click the thumbnail to jump to their Legislator Page:
* Click here to learn how FiscalNote calculates effectiveness scores.
Comparing Effectiveness Against Peers
Each Legislator page is equipped with a slew of additional tools to help compare lawmakers against their peers. Located below Committee and Caucus assignments, Top Policy Issues let's you view comparisons for both the current session and all sessions, providing a view of trends over time against the chamber average. Click the tabs at the top to toggle between time periods. Hover over each topic to view chamber comparisons:
How to Find Similar Legislators
Rather than immediately jumping to reach out to a legislator of interest, it usually helps to research their peers first. Understanding their chamber network will aid in formulating a sound message, especially if you or your organization has worked with their colleagues in the past. More than that, finding like peers could prove useful in growing your stakeholder network.
Committee & Caucus Assignments
The first place you should look to find similar peers is Committee and Caucus assignments (if available). Committee and Caucus peers are likely to hold similar interests. Additionally, FiscalNote provides a drop-down menu to view assignments over time. View past committee rankings and assignments to gauge any change or career growth. Click on a relevant Committee and scroll down to view the full list of Committee members, broken down by party:
Vote & Cosponsorship History
The most direct peer-to-peer comparison that FiscalNote has to offer is the 'Legislators Similar To' section, located to the left of 'Top Policy Issues'. It allows for a granular comparison on voting and cosponsorship history. Use the drop down menu to view a list of peers by either voting history or cosponsorship. Expand your investigation to include members of the other chamber:
Use the drop-down menu at the top to give yourself a more focused view of peers by topic. To see a visual representation of how the rest of the chamber votes in comparison to this legislator on the chosen topic, change the view at the top to a map:
Sharing Your Findings
If working with colleagues in FiscalNote, always add potential stakeholders or legislators of interest to an Issue. All legislators added to Issues can be found under the stakeholder tab for everyone to access in the future. Choose any they may influence from the Issues tab at the top of each screen:
If debriefing a team on your investigation results or presenting them to a client, you can incorporate the data visualizations by exporting them from FiscalNote. Whenever you see a "hamburger" icon, or , click it to choose your export file type:
*Keep in mind, the data visualizations will no longer be interactive once downloaded.
Investigating Legislators 1-Pager (Click here to download)