Analysis: Utah legislature dominated by one party, but parties treat each other with respect

FILE - Utah House of Representatives are shown on the floor at the Utah State Capitol Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The 2018 session of the Utah legislature is behind us and now it is being reviewed and, in many cases, analyzed. On KVNU’s For the People program, Adam Brown, assistant professor on legislative data at Brigham Young University, acknowledged that the legislature is controlled by one party. He said there are downsides to majority control.

He said one upside is that the majority doesn’t fear the minority.

“They tend to treat them with a fair amount of respect,” explained Brown. “So you look at the 2018 session that just wrapped, 66% of the bills that Republicans sponsored in the Utah legislature passed, 66%. But so did 57% of the ones that Democrats sponsored.

“That’s only a 9% gap, that’s pretty narrow. That says a lot. You look at the way votes are actually being held on the floor, and your average floor vote in the Utah House had 94% of the representatives voting on the same side. Your average floor vote in the Utah Senate had 97% voting on the same side. That’s nearly unanimous!”

Brown said this may have something to do with the fact that it is state government rather than federal, and also because of the character of the people. 

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