State Legislatures Are More Productive Than Congress

States Introduce More Legislation Than The U.S. Congress

Legislation moves faster and is passed at higher frequencies at the state level than the federal level. In fact, state legislatures introduce 23 times the number of bills than the U.S. Congress does, totaling an average 128,145 bills per year and 3.1 million words per day while in session.

With the first half of 2016 complete, we found how this year’s state legislation has compared to previous years.

Between January 1, 2016 and June 30, 2016, state legislatures introduced a total of 63,018 bills. The 10 states below introduced the greatest amount of legislation during these six months.

Data on legislation introduction.

It’s important to note that state legislatures in Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, and Texas did not hold regular sessions in 2016. In 2015, the Texas state legislature introduced 5,517 bills, accounting for 7.5% of state bills introduced between January and June.

Legislation at the state level is more likely to be enacted than federal legislation.

19.3% of state Senate bills and 13.3% of state House bills are enacted on average compared with 3.6% and 1.9% of US Senate and House bills respectively.

The number of bills introduced by state.

Legislation at the state level is more likely to be enacted than at the federal.

The Arkansas state legislature led in the percentage of enacted legislation.

During the first six months of 2016, 8,295 bills were enacted at the state level, which was 24% of the bills introduced across state legislatures. Arkansas led the way, enacting 94% of the bills introduced in its 2016 Fiscal Session.

These 10 states enacted the highest percentage of legislation in the first six months of 2016:

1: Arkansas - 94%

2: South Dakota - 56%

3: Colorado - 55%

4: Utah - 52%

5: Wyoming - 44%

6: Oregon - 40%

7: Nebraska - 38%

8: Tennessee - 37%

9: Virginia - 35%

10: Idaho - 31%

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