Who sponsored the most bills in the 2014 Utah Legislature?

Legislators vary widely in how many bills they introduce. Presiding officers (Speaker and Senate President) seldom sponsor bills, and that was the case again this year. Neither Speaker Lockhart nor President Niederhauser introduced any legislation. (Lockhart’s education technology initiative was formally introduced by Rep Francis Gibson, not by the Speaker.)

Beyond that, bill sponsorship is perhaps more a matter of personal preference than anything else. So without further commentary, here are the data. You can make your own inferences about possible explanations.

First, let’s look first at the 10 least active bill sponsors. (There is a six-way tie for seventh place, so there are actually more than 10 legislators in this table.)

Legislator Bills introduced
Grover, Keith House R 0
Lockhart, Rebecca D. House R 0
Niederhauser, Wayne L. Senate R 0
Westwood, John R. House R 0
Fisher, Janice M. House D 1
Nelson, Merrill F. House R 1
Barlow, Stewart House R 2
Duckworth, Susan House D 2
Mathis, John G. House R 2
McCay, Daniel House R 2
Sanpei, Dean House R 2
Tanner, Earl D. House R 2

And now the 10 most active bill sponsors. (There are 11 in this table due to a three-way tie for 9th place.)

Eliason, Steve House R 16
Harper, Wayne A. Senate R 16
Jenkins, Scott K. Senate R 16
Hillyard, Lyle W. Senate R 17
Osmond, Aaron Senate R 17
Stephenson, Howard A. Senate R 17
Valentine, John L. Senate R 17
Nielson, Jim House R 18
Weiler, Todd Senate R 19
Powell, Kraig House R 20
Bramble, Curtis S. Senate R 26

It’s no surprise that Senator Bramble leads the charts. He does so almost every year. In fact, when you at all legislators who served at any time between 2007 and 2014, Sen. Bramble has the highest overall average, coming in at 22.3 bills introduced per session served. He’s followed by Lyle Hillyard (21.1 bills/session), Greg Bell (18.0 bills/session), Wayne Harper (17.3), and Todd Weiler (17.0).

However, Hillyard edges Bramble out when it comes to legislation actually enacted. Lyle Hillyard passes 18.9 bills/session, compared to 16.6 bills/per session for Bramble. Looks like we’ve got a rivalry brewing, folks.

You can find data for all 104 legislators 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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