The MOST and LEAST Effective Legislators of the 2013 Legislative Session

utah capitol

What started out a few days ago as a simple numbers project has become one of the hardest posts we’ve ever put together. How do you quantify who is effective on Utah’s Capitol Hill, and who is not? There are literally thousands of ways we could consider.

Do you judge by how many bills they passed? How often they got their message out in the media? How many solid policy bills they ran vs “message bills?” You see our dilemma.

The list below does not take into consideration seniority or past performance of any legislator, it also does not take into account the degree to which they affected other legislation, either through negotiations or floor speeches.

The algorithm we ended up using is a combination of the percentage of bills passed, versus how many bills each had numbered. It also takes into account the percentage of bills they passed as a floor sponsor. Those percentages include the bill files that legislators opened at the beginning of the session, but ended up not using (which sunk the percentages of many typically heavy-hitters). There’s also an X-factor, where we gave a boost to the scores of legislators who took great bills far through the process, even though the bills may not have passed.

No voter would use this as a sole basis for their vote. Take it for what it is: the most honest evaluation of the 2013 session we could give it with limited resources, while using only a handful of the thousands of factors that could have been considered.

Note: The Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, and House/Senate Republican and Democratic Leaders are not included, as their influence over legislation is too strong to fit into our model.
Maximum number of points possible: 300
House     Senate  
Curt Webb 214 Peter Knudson 247
Mel Brown 213 Lyle Hillyard 210
Kay McIff 212 Kevin Van Tassell 202
Mike Noel 211 Scott Jenkins 200
Curt Oda 211 Stephen Urquhart 194
Dean Sanpei 211 Pat Jones 194
Stephen Handy 200 David Hinkins 194
Lowry Snow 206 Margaret Dayton 192
Jack Draxler 200 Deidre Henderson 191
Rich Cunningham 195 Jerry Stevenson 191
Patrice Arent 194 Curt Bramble 186
Francis Gibson 192 John Valentine 185
Steve Eliason 190 Evan Vickers 182
LaVar Christensen 189 Karen Mayne 180
Craig Hall 189 Allen Christensen 176
Marc Roberts 187 Aaron Osmond 170
Ryan Wilcox 185 Luz Robles 142
Keven Stratton 185 Jim Dabakis 140
Rebecca Edwards 184 Daniel Thatcher 168
Stewart Barlow 184 Stuart Reid 160
Richard Greenwood 182 Stuart Adams 144
Don Ipson 177 Howard Stephenson 134
Val Peterson 174 Brian Shiozawa 131
Jeremy Peterson 172 Todd Weiler 124
Merrill Nelson 170 Wayne Harper 56
John Knotwell 170 Mark Madsen 37
Jim Bird 166
Edward Redd 164
Johnny Anderson 164
Ronda Menlove 157
James Dunnigan 157
John Mathis 152
Gage Froerer 151
Roger Barrus 150
Brad Wilson 149

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