The 2012 legislative session saw a modest decline in legislator absenteeism. In 2011, 7.1% of Representatives missed a typical vote in the Utah House, whereas 14.3% of Senators missed a typical vote in the Utah Senate. These numbers dropped somewhat in 2012, to 5.9% in the House and 10.0% in the Senate. The chart below shows the trend since 2007.
Absenteeism in the Utah House
This table lists the 10 (actually 11) members of the Utah House with the lowest absentee rate, followed by the 10 with the highest absentee rate. (You can find data for all 75 Representatives here.)
|Rank||Representative||Party||Missed votes||Votes held||Absentee rate|
|1||Cox, Fred C.||R||1||651||0.2%|
|1||Peterson, Val L.||R||1||651||0.2%|
|4||Galvez, Brad J.||R||4||651||0.6%|
|7||Poulson, Marie H.||D||6||651||0.9%|
|8||Handy, Stephen G.||R||7||651||1.1%|
|9||Frank, Craig A.||R||9||651||1.4%|
|66||Hughes, Gregory H.||R||79||651||12.1%|
|67||Lockhart, Rebecca D.||R||83||651||12.7%|
|68||Sandstrom, Stephen E.||R||88||651||13.5%|
|69||Sumsion, Kenneth W.||R||92||651||14.1%|
|74||Hutchings, Eric K.||R||136||651||20.9%|
|75||Brown, Melvin R.||R||163||651||25.0%|
Absenteeism in the Utah Senate
Since there are fewer Senators than Representatives, I list only the 5 lowest and highest absentee rates here. Data for all 29 Senators is here.
|Rank||Senator||Party||Missed votes||Votes held||Absentee rate|
|1||Reid, Stuart C.||R||2||890||0.2%|
|4||Anderson, Casey O.||R||26||890||2.9%|
|5||Romero, Ross I.||D||28||890||3.1%|
|25||Madsen, Mark B.||R||157||890||17.6%|
|26||Urquhart, Stephen H.||R||177||890||19.9%|
|27||Stephenson, Howard A.||R||180||890||20.2%|
|28||Niederhauser, Wayne L.||R||194||890||21.8%|
|29||Hillyard, Lyle W.||R||255||890||28.7%|
I think this would be more meaningful if you only considered the votes for the third reading calendar.
I’ve wondered why the Senate doesn’t do away with the 2nd reading altogether, seeing as Senators miss those votes so often, or they just suspend the rules to merge the two readings. Even when they don’t miss the vote, they often vote “aye on 2” and put off real debate until the 3rd reading.
I personally am very thankful for the 2nd and 3rd calender. We were able to identify significant issues on the 3rd calender after passing on the 2nd.
Do you have data available for 3rd calender only?
Sure, I can calculate that real quick. I’ll make it a separate post in a minute to pull out it of the comments.
The comparison is up now. See Evaluating the Senate’s second reading calendar