The billsponsors127download.csv file is one of a number of data files available for download on the Open Maine Politics website. It is a comma-delimited file that can be opened by any modern spreadsheet or database program, but this is a large file and downloads should be carried out judiciously. Each row represents one bill, and bills are limited to regular, introduced “LD” legislative document bills (sentiments and symbolic resolutions are not included). Variables for each bill are organized into twelve columns:
Column 1: ld — standing for legislative document. Each regular bill that is formalized and sent to a committee for consideration is given a unique LD number by staff of the Maine State Legislature. Newspaper articles and archives typically refer to this number when reporting on a bill.
Column 2: session — 127 for the 127th Maine State Legislature of 2015-2016.
Column 3: papertype — HP for House Paper and SP for Senate Paper, refering to the origin of the bill.
Column 4: papernumber — number associated with the alternative HP or SP reference for the bill.
Column 5: committee — legislative committee to which the bill has been referred.
Column 6: majorsubject — the major subject designation assigned by legislative staff.
Column 7: minorsubject — a minor subject designation assigned by legislative staff, a subset of the major subject.
Column 8: detailsubject — an even more detailed subject designation assigned by legislative staff, a subset of the minor subject.
Column 9: billtext — text of the bill with some formatting removed.
Column 10: title — official bill title.
Column 11: uniqueid — a third kind of identifying number (the other two being LD and HP/SP) for a bill. This unique ID is used by the website of the Maine State Legislature to identify additional data associated with a bill such as roll call voting.
Column 12: actions — actions taken by legislators regarding the bill to date, with some formatting removed