Data Scientists Create A Tool That Tracks The Influence Of Lobbying Groups On Legislation

Illinois House of Representatives (Credit: Wikimedia) Legislation copying happens more often than you would think. Whether it’s a legislator who is too busy to craft unique language or is hoping to replicate a similar law in another state, often the language used in laws, particularly controversial ones, can come from lobbying groups. For example, Florida’s 2005 “Stand Your Ground” law quickly spread to over 24 other states, ten of which had wording that can be traced back to model legislation created by the National Rifle Association and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Though it is common practice, it was incredibly hard to track on a large scale, given the vast amounts of information that would need to be analyzed across 50 different states. That is, until now. A group of…


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