Bills and workload in the Utah Legislature, 2007-2019

The materials below summarize the number of bills (including resolutions) considered by the Utah legislature in recent years. Some clarifications:

  • The "day" starts at 1 on the first day of the session and counts up to 46, the last day of the session. (The Legislature does not count President's Day in calculating the 45-day session, but I do.)
  • A bill's "age" is the number of days that have passed since the bill was first introduced. (Age is 1, not 0, on introduction day.)
  • "Passed" means a bill passed the legislature (it was "enrolled"). I do not record here whether the governor signed or vetoed it.
  • "Trend" plots are scaled so that the minimum and maximum values define the range of the vertical axis, which may have the incidental effect of causing some visual exaggeration. Consume wisely.

Key observations:

  • Few bills are ready on day 1. Bill introductions moved noticeably back beginning in 2009, when the Legislature's start date moved to the 4th Monday in January.
  • Many bills never come to a vote. Some get held up in Rules and never get sent to a committee. Some die in committee. Some pass committee but don't make it to the floor before the session ends.
  • Very few bills are voted down on the floor. Committees and prioritization, not negative votes, determine which bills fail. If a bill makes it to a final floor vote, it will probably pass. The action is in the committees and floor calendar prioritization.

Key charts

First some charts, then the raw data.

Data tables

  2007   2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019 Trend
Bills actually introduced (#) 733744704713782765748786831819810817842
   Avg day of introduction 9.29.211.112.415.514.114.714.013.813.712.212.813.3
   # introduced on first day 292328256226191215222245269282279309245
   # introduced in first week 392410339309272285292326345376371392405
   # introduced in first two weeks 546551488449403431393442467461490487497
   # introduced in last three weeks 505491110174150162159170177108146180
   # introduced in last two weeks 16213534785761466162446483
How bills fare after introduction
   % that had at least one floor vote 79%79%79%76%75%76%78%77%78%74%80%80%76%
   % that failed in a floor vote 2.2%2.3%2.4%2.0%1.9%2.4%2.5%2.8%3.2%2.1%1.9%2.0%1.5%
   % that passed and were enrolled 58%59%64%67%64%62%70%62%64%58%66%65%68%
   % that passed 1+ floor votes but 19%18%12%6%8%12%5%13%11%14%12%12%7%
      died without a negative vote
Bills that came to a floor vote 577586554541585584581606646609649650643
   Avg day of first vote 25.423.325.625.426.826.726.229.628.027.527.426.425.3
   Avg age of bill at first vote 17.915.915.614.413.113.613.616.816.015.917.216.214.8
Bills that passed and were enrolled 423436450481504478524484528475535533574
   Avg day of final passage 36.735.935.936.836.436.436.838.737.437.437.936.836.4
   Avg age of bill when passed 30.028.726.326.023.224.224.426.426.427.728.426.926.1

Week-by-week analysis: Number of bills introduced

  2007   2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019 Average
Week 1 392410339309272285292326345376371392405347
Week 2 154141149140131146101116122851199592122
Week 3 736064778590907710776102919183
Week 4 647961771209410310887105110937490
Week 5 34335676969310111310911564829782
Week 6 1011111661435134465036467338
Week 7 61024181714101215128181013

Week-by-week analysis: Number of bills passed

  2007   2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014   2015   2016   2017   2018   2019 Average
Week 1 141103103301543
Week 2 1410231528291312101510163618
Week 3 3324453346423918404940524639
Week 4 3554445355385537512549584546
Week 5 5772496130475267685963407257
Week 6 699676104103849571797171766481
Week 7 214176212214242235260276277256301286307250