How busy has the Legislature been so far?

Today the Tribune quotes Sen. John Valentine reporting that the Legislature has introduced a record high number of bills so far, but that it has passed a record low number. I thought I’d give some additional numbers for perspective.

Sen. Valentine says that as of last Friday (the end of the fifth week of the seven-week session), legislators had introduced 738 bills (a “historic high” for the fifth week) and passed only 138 (“tied with 2007” for the record low for the fifth week).

My data stretch back only to 2007, and it appears that Sen. Valentine must count bills differently than I do, since 738 isn’t even close to a “historic high” in my data; there were 765 bills by the fifth week of the 2009 session, for example. (My guess is that Valentine isn’t including resolutions in his count; I do.)

Here’s how it’s looked each year since 2007:

Year Introduced (in first 5 weeks) Passed (in first 5 weeks)
2007 717 140
2008 723 164
2009 765 184
2010 679 163
2011 704 159
2012 708 159
2013 687 169
2014 738 (from Trib) 138 (from Trib)

This might just be a methodological difference, though. I include both bills and resolutions in my totals, and it’s possible that Senator Valentine is counting only bills (omitting resolutions).

You can find lots more bill statistics for the Utah Legislature here.

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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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