Who ran the most bills in the 2013 Legislature?

Legislators vary widely in how many bills that sponsor in the Utah Legislature. Before we proceed, let’s clarify what “sponsoring” and “floor sponsoring” mean:

  • Sponsoring. This means the legislator came up with the idea for the bill and had it initially introduced into his or her chamber.
  • Floor sponsoring. After a sponsor gets a bill passed through his or her own chamber, he recruits a floor sponsor to carry it through the other chamber.

For purposes of this post, I’m only looking at sponsorship, not floor sponsorship. Some legislators don’t sponsor any bills; others sponsor an immense number.

Here are some quick tables for the curious. First, we’ll look at which legislators introduced the most bills. Then, we’ll look at which legislators passed the most bills. Then, we’ll look at which legislators were most effective at getting their bills passed(i.e. the percentage of introduced bills that came were passed).

Most bills introduced

The following table lists the top 10 bill sponsors for each chamber in 2013.

Utah House Introduced Utah Senate Introduced
Powell 16 Weiler 24
Eliason 16 Harper 22
Froerer 14 Valentine 20
Dee 14 Bramble 20
Ray 13 Hillyard 19
Menlove 13 Adams 18
Brown, D 13 Urquhart 13
Bird 12 Stevenson, J 13
Nielson 11 Robles 13
Hutchings 11 Knudson 13

Visit my personal website to find bill sponsorship information for all 104 legislators, including for past years.

Most bills passed

Now let’s look at which legislators passed the most bills. By “passed,” I just mean it got through the Legislature; I don’t consider here whether the governor signed it. In the Utah House rankings, there was a seven-way tie for eighth place, including Hall, Ivory, Wilson, Noel, Brown, Bird, and Ray.

Utah House Passed Utah Senate Passed
Dunnigan 15 Weiler 19
Eliason 14 Bramble 18
Dee 13 Harper 17
Menlove 12 Hillyard 15
Froerer 11 Stevenson, J 13
Brown, D 9 Adams 13
Greenwood 8 Van Tassell 11
Several 7 Thatcher 10
Kundson 10
Valentine 10

Visit my personal website to find bill passage information for all 104 legislators, including for past years.

Effectiveness at passing bills

If you compare the two preceding tables, you’ll notice some major differences. In the House, for example, Rep. Kraig Powell appears at the top of the first table but doesn’t appear at all in the second after passing only 5 of his 16 introduced bills.

Just for fun, let’s look at each legislator’s effectiveness at getting bills passed–that is, the percentage of each legislator’s bills that actually passed. It wouldn’t make much sense to calculate these percentages for legislators who introduced only 1 or 2 bills, since a rate of 100% would be a bit misleading in those cases. I’ll calculate them only for legislators who introduced at least 5 bills. That leaves us with 40 (of 75) Representatives and 24 (of 29) Senators.

The table below gives the top 10 and bottom 10 in the House. Where there are ties–and there is a nine-way tie in the top 10–I sort them by number of bills passed. Are legislators are Republicans unless noted.

Representative Passage rate Bills passed
Dunnigan 100% 15 of 15
Wilson 100% 7 of 7
Ivory 100% 7 of 7
Hall 100% 7 of 7
Wilcox 100% 6 of 6
Redd 100% 5 of 5
Last 100% 5 of 5
Ipson 100% 5 of 5
Barlow 100% 5 of 5
Dee 93% 13 of 14
Ray 54% 7 of 13
Christensen 50% 4 of 8
Hutchings 46% 5 of 11
McCay 38% 3 of 8
Briscoe (D) 33% 2 of 6
Chavez-Houck (D) 33% 2 of 6
Powell 31% 5 of 16
Greene 29% 2 of 7
Nielson 27% 3 of 11
King (D) 0% 0 of 7

Since the Senate has fewer members, I’ll give only the top 5 and bottom 5:

Senator Passage rate Bills passed
Stevenson, J 100% 13 of 13
Henderson 100% 6 of 6
Van Tassell 92% 11 of 12
Bramble 90% 18 of 20
Hinkins 90% 9 of 10
Reid 50% 4 of 8
Valentine 50% 10 of 20
Robles (D) 39% 5 of 13
Urquhart 39% 5 of 13
Okerlund 33% 4 of 12

Make of it what you will.

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About Adam Brown

Adam Brown is an associate professor of political science at Brigham Young University and a research fellow with the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy. You can learn more about him at his website.
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1 Response to Who ran the most bills in the 2013 Legislature?

  1. Margaret Dayton says:

    Thank you for this interesting data collection. Some evaluations are not completely accurate, however, just because of the nature of legislation. Example: 3 of my bills that were technically not listed as passed bills, did however, pass. One was added to one of Sen Valentine’s bill as an amendment. One was so similar to Sen Stephenson’s education bill that we combined bills – and he carried it since he is on the Education Cmte. One bill did not need legislation afterall as its purpose was accomplished through the appropriations process. Just some sideline info – fyi.

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