Press Release: Better Utah publishes Legislative Progress Report

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 12, 2020

Salt Lake City, UT – Today, Alliance for a Better Utah published its annual Progress Report for the 2020 General Legislative Session. This year, lawmakers were graded for their votes on 54 important bills organized into four categories: Strong Communities, Equal Rights, Good Government, and Sustainable Future. All 104 legislators received overall grades, as well as grades in each of the four categories. 

The 2020 Progress Report scores, grades, and rubric can be found along with previous years’ scores at the interactive website, ProgressReport.BetterUtah.org. A summary of the overall scores can be found below.

“Most people pay more attention to national politics than they do to state politics,” said Lauren Simpson, policy director for Better Utah. “And keeping up with the rapid-fire, 45-day legislative session is impossible for a lot of busy Utahns. We’ve added more to our website this year in the hopes that these grades will help Utahns understand their state lawmakers and the legislative process a little better. We believe that with tools like our Progress Report, we can shed light on what happens at the Capitol Building and help empower people across the state to get more involved in their communities and government.”

The highest overall grades in the House and Senate were earned by Representative Patrice Arent and Senator Luz Escamilla. The lowest overall grades in the House and Senate were earned by Representative Adam Robertson and Senator Dan McCay. This is the second year that Rep. Patrice Arent has earned the highest grade in the House. 

The top-scoring legislators in each of the categories are as follows:

  • Strong Communities: Senator Todd Weiler
  • Equal Rights: Senator Todd Weiler
  • Good Government: Representative Patrice Arent
  • Sustainable Future: Representative Suzanne Harrison

The lowest-scoring legislators in each of the categories are as follows:

  • Strong Communities: Representative Adam Robertson
  • Equal Rights: Representative Adam Robertson 
  • Good Government: Representative Kim Coleman
  • Sustainable Future: Representative Scott Chew and Representative Adam Robertson

“Of course, this Progress Report does not include bills that lawmakers never had the opportunity to vote on,” Simpson continued. “As so often happens in politics, a few powerful gatekeepers can have an outsized influence on policies affecting the entire state. While some great bills passed through the Legislature this year, other popular bills, such as an extreme risk protective order bill and the Equal Rights Amendment resolution, were never given the opportunity for any debate or votes.” 

A list of bills in each of the four categories can be found here. An explanation of the methodology can be found here. In a change from past years, the 2020 Progress Report includes both bills that passed the Legislature and bills that received some votes but ultimately did not pass.

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Alliance for a Better Utah is a nonprofit that holds politicians accountable and advocates for progressive policies that make Utah an even better place. The organization improves the lives of all Utahns through advocacy, transparency, and accountability in Utah politics, policy, and government. More information at www.betterutah.org.

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