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Scrape Texas Legislature Online Bill Search results.

Project description

PyPI version Python 3

A thin, incomplete Python 3 library wrapper around the Texas Legislature Online Bill Search.

Install and Test

$ pip install txbillsearch
...
$ python -m txbillsearch.txbillsearch
1604 bills found...
result 1 of 1604: HB 1 by Zerwas H Filed 2019-01-23
result 2 of 1604: HB 20 by Capriglione H Filed 2019-01-24
...
result 41 of 1604: HB 59 by Swanson H Filed 2018-11-12
$

Usage

import txbillsearch

# NOTICE: We chopped off the 'ID=cMVddWbvD' query param!
SESSION_86_BILLS = 'https://capitol.texas.gov/Search/BillSearchResults.aspx?NSP=1&SPL=False&SPC=False&SPA=True&SPS=False&Leg=86&Sess=R&ChamberH=True&ChamberS=True&BillType=B;JR;CR;R;;;&AuthorCode=&SponsorCode=&ASAndOr=O&IsPA=True&IsJA=False&IsCA=False&IsPS=True&IsJS=False&IsCS=False&CmteCode=&CmteStatus=&OnDate=&FromDate=&ToDate=&FromTime=&ToTime=&LastAction=False&Actions=S000;S001;H001;&AAO=O&Subjects=&SAO=&TT=' # NO ID!

id, search_results = txbillsearch.search(SESSION_86_BILLS)

# This is just a very simple demonstration that we can actually get 
# search results directly from BillSearchResults.aspx.
print('{} bills found...'.format(search_results.count))
for index, bill in enumerate(search_results.bills):
    if index > 40:
        break

    print('result {} of {}: {}'.format(
        index+1, 
        search_results.count, 
        bill))

Technical Details

For some reason, BillSearchResults.aspx requires that you supply an ID, generated on BillSearch.aspx. This ID must be "fresh"; that is it must have been generated less than 24-ish hours ago (I don't know the exact time interval). Without a "fresh" ID, BillSearchResults.aspx displays "No bills were found matching the entered search criteria." or redirects the client back to BillSearch.aspx.

This ID is generated during the ASP.NET POSTback that occurs to BillSearch.aspx after you have selected your search criteria, but before you are redirected to BillSearchResults.aspx:

bill search sequence diagram

Disclaimer

I made my best effort to read through the Texas Legislature Online Terms and Conditions, and found nothing that prohibited automated/programmatic use or access of this information. If there's a better way to do this (e.g., a real web service) I'd love to know about it, and would much prefer to use it to the wasteful and inconvenient method developed herein.

Project details


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