First Street, the previously announced source of extensive lobbyist data from CQ Press, announced the start of private beta-testing with an eye toward meeting its April launch date.

Private beta participants will receive discounts on their subscription fees.

Its First Street Coalition Builder mapping tool visually outlines connections between staffers, lobbyists, and members of Congress, and First Street will offer users data from as far back as 1993 from sources including lobbyist registrations, congressional and federal staff directories, election data, and the Federal Election Commission. Users can research contacts’ work histories in Congress and identify who is lobbying whom and why.

Subscription rates will be tiered and based on number of users, with the average annual fees per user starting at $3,750 and special pricing available for other markets including non-profits, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions

First Street publisher Jasper Simons said:

The feedback that our users provide is invaluable. This exclusive beta testing represents an important milestone as we remain on track for the April 2011 launch of the richest, deepest database of people affecting policy.