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All opinions on this site are my own, not my employer's.

Naysayers in the 2016 Utah Legislature

Even more so than Representatives, Senators really don't like voting "nay."

Utah legislators don’t like voting no. Well, most of them don’t. Only 3% (House) and 1% (Senate) of floor votes held in 2016 failed, and that was consistent with past trends: But every average has its exceptions, and this average … Continue reading

Who missed the most votes in the 2016 Utah Legislature?

The perfect attendance award goes to Rep. Michael Kennedy, the only legislator to miss zero votes.

Utah Legislators had only 45 days to consider 819 bills, passing 475 of them. The Legislature moves at such a breakneck pace that falling ill for a day or two can mean missing a lot of votes; running around persuading … Continue reading

The closest votes of the 2016 Legislature

Two of the session's closest Senate votes came 45 minutes apart, voting on the same bill, within an hour of adjournment, with opposite results.

The Utah Legislature loves consensus. Bills seldom pass on party-line votes. Instead, votes routinely pass with both Republicans and Democrats on board, producing an average majority size of 93% (House) and 96% (Senate). But averages have exceptions, and there were some … Continue reading

Unanimity remained the rule in the 2016 Utah Legislature

Utah's Republicans and Democrats vote together more often than they vote against each other.

Last fall, House Minority Leader directed a scathing op-ed at his Republican counterparts. Near the end of the 2016 session, Utah’s legislators approved changes to the (traditionally bipartisan) Legislative Management Committee placing the majority Republicans in control–a move that some have interpreted as … Continue reading

The 2016 Legislature: Slowing down while speeding up

Legislators introduced 177 bills in the session's final three weeks.

Despite being limited to only 45 lawmaking days, Utah’s Legislature sure passes a lot of bills–2 to 3 times as many bills per year as Congress. After last year’s record of 528 bills, though, the Legislature put the brakes on … Continue reading

Recap: The 2015 Utah Legislature

Last Thursday, the Utah Legislature concluded its seven-week annual lawmaking session. The state’s major newspapers have already published several excellent recaps of the major policy changes coming out of the session. So now I’ll give my annual recap of the session’s trends … Continue reading

My wonderful family, Oct 2010

Our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble but by the number of times we rise up, dust ourselves off, and move forward.
Dieter Uchtdorf

Course announcements

Poli 399r, Utah Legislative Internship

First day!

Monday, January 25th, 2016. I'll be in the capitol from around 9am to 11am today. Text if you want to meet up for any reason. Otherwise, enjoy the opening ceremony.

Poli 110, Introduction to American Politics

TA office hours and NYTimes emails

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016. As promised in class, I have added the TA office hours to the syllabus. Note that TAs will not hold office hours until next week, though, and my [continued ...]

Poli 397, Legislative Internship Preparation

Skills 1 grades

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016. Overall, I'm pleased with how you did on the first skills assignment. The average score was higher than I've seen the past couple years. If you did [continued ...]

Poli 397, Legislative Internship Preparation

Orientation meeting reminder

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015. See you all at 11:00am tomorrow in 948 SWKT, a large room right next to the Washington Seminar office. Also, you should have received an email from [continued ...]

Poli 397, Legislative Internship Preparation

Legislative leadership interviews and some other stuff

Friday, December 4th, 2015. Howdy. Most of you haven't met me yet. That will change at our orientation meeting Thursday, but I have a couple things that cannot wait until then. [continued ...]

Poli 399r, Utah Legislative Internship


Tuesday, December 1st, 2015. Congratulations on successfully locating the course website. You're off to a good start this semester! I will periodically post announcements to this [continued ...]

Poli 110, Introduction to American Politics

Welcome to Poli 110!

Monday, November 2nd, 2015. Yep. You've found the course website. I'll periodically post announcements here. The most recent announcement will always appear at the top. If BYU [continued ...]

Poli 397, Legislative Internship Preparation


Sunday, November 1st, 2015. Congratulations on being admitted to the Utah legislative internship program for winter 2016. I will periodically post announcements to this site. The [continued ...]

Note that this list may be up to 12 hours out of date.