Oct 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

By the numbers: State action

U.S. legislative activity, 2021
Data: Quorum; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

New York has had the busiest state lawmakers this year, with an average of 70 bills introduced per legislator, although that doesn't necessarily mean they become law, according to a new analysis from Quorum.

By the numbers: New York state lawmakers introduced 30 more bills per legislator, on average, than their counterparts in Illinois, the next busiest state. Yet the New Yorkers enacted 420 new state laws from Jan. 1 to Aug. 25, compared to 661 for Illinois legislators.

Between the lines: States, territories and districts have different ratios of lawmakers to population.

  • The study found that a state with more legislators generally led to more legislation being introduced. Nonetheless, there was no correlation between the number of legislators and the number of bills actually enacted.
  • Quorum's analysis also suggested no correlation between partisanship and the number of bills introduced or enacted.
  • Seven of the eight top state-level legislatures for introducing bills, including Washington, D.C., are controlled by Democrats, with the exception of Texas. That's despite the Republicans controlling more state-level legislatures than Democrats.
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