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HSCI 345: Public Health Issues

Bill Analysis - Supporters and Opposition

When attempting to look for the opponents or supporters of a bill, you may need to be creative with your searching techniques and methods. The amount of information you can find may depend on the bill that you have selected for your assignment.

Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Contact the author(s) of the bill (give yourself enough time)
  2. Check if the author(s) of the bill have a website (you can do this by inserting the name and number of the bill and its author(s) in Google and checking your results)
  3. Use Google to search for the bill and browse websites in your results (for a more precise set of results use Google Advanced Search and insert the bill number in the search bar titled “this exact word or phrase”. Make sure to place quotes around the bill number (e.g., “AB-35”). With this type of search, you may also come across the websites of groups that are lobbying in support or opposition to the bill.  
  4. Check news sources (e.g., News Papers) to see if there have been any articles written about the bill. Newspaper articles may list possible groups that support or oppose the bill and why. This can be a great lead to find supporters or opposition to the bill. To search for newspapers articles, you can use Google News or the ProQuest Global NewsStream database. In ProQuest Global NewsStream, make sure to limit your search to newspaper articles in English, using the appropriate filters.  
  5. Make sure to check social media sources. Searching social media will require some creative searching. The author(s) of a bill as well as groups that are for or against a bill may post about a bill on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Information on the bill may also exist on the bill author’s social media page, or a social media page may have been created for the bill itself. You could also check to see if the bill has been mentioned in any social media posts. For Instagram or Twitter, you may want to check to see if the bill (author, number or title) has been hashtaged or if the author has been mentioned using an @.
  6. Think about groups or organizations that may possibly oppose such a bill (who are not listed in the section entitled “Supporters and Opposition”) and contact them to see if they have a stance on the bill (do not delay and make sure you give yourself enough time).